Belfast Telegraph

Revealed: council chiefs with more than £100,000 in their pay packets

By Adrian Rutherford

The former chief executive of Newtownabbey council received more than £100,000 last year, it has emerged.

Norman Dunn, who retired last March, received £101,948 in the12 months before he stood down — including more than £6,300 in holiday pay.

The council is one of three authorities in Northern Ireland which had a member of staff receiving £100,000-plus, according to a report published today.

The Town Hall Rich List 2011, produced by the TaxPayers’ Alliance, lists council employees in the UK whose total remuneration exceeded £100,000 in 2009/10.

In Northern Ireland — where council chiefs have less responsibility than the rest of the UK — the figure remained at three.

Belfast council has one £100,000-plus employee — its chief executive Peter McNaney, compared to three last year. Newtownabbey and Derry City councils feature for the first time.

The report reveals how Newtownabbey council, which covers a population of around 80,000, handed over £101,948 to Mr Dunn in that period.

That included basic pay of £90,957, a further £6,357 in holiday pay, £783 in expenses and £3,850 in other allowances. A council spokesperson said Mr Dunn’s salary was consistent with band two of the chief executives’ salary scale.

Meanwhile, Mr McNaney, |who is the head of Belfast City Council, received £124,129, including |a £122,000 salary, car allowances |of £1,518 and £610 in expenses.

A council spokesperson said the salary is based on scales set by the joint negotiating committee for chief executives of local authorities in Northern Ireland, and a job evaluation exercise.

“The salary takes account of the responsibilities of the post and is benchmarked against other comparable posts in the private and public sectors,” she said.

Meanwhile Derry City Council paid an unspecified member of staff, who has since retired, some £110,180, which included a statutory redundancy payment of £30,000 and £32,592 enhanced redundancy.

A spokesperson said the money|was paid after the staff member left the organisation under voluntary severance arrangements as part of a reorganisation process.

“The payment of the statutory and enhanced redundancy packages payment of £62,592 is in keeping with the council’s redundancy policy,” she added.

Matthew Sinclair of the TaxPayers' Alliance said ratepayers would be angered by the high salaries.

“Councils should be scouring every inch of their expenditure to identify savings, so taxpayers will be staggered that so many council employees are still getting such a generous deal,” he said.

“Councils insist cuts can only mean pressure on frontline services but they clearly have money to spend when it comes to paying their own senior staff.”

Factfile

  • Across the UK, 2,295 council employees received total remuneration in excess of £100,000 in 2009/10, an increase of 18% on the previous year’s 1,941.
  • Some 48 employees received remuneration over £250,000 in 2009/10, up from 19 the previous year, while 506 received remuneration between £150,000 and £249,999 in 2009/10, compared to 408 in 2008/09.

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