Council staff pay: 36 council workers in and around Portsmouth on salaries of £100,000 or more

MORE than 30 council employees across The News' area are earning above £100,000 a year, it has been revealed.

Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 1:56 pm
36 council staff in The News' area earned more than £100,000 in 2019

A total of 36 local authority workers received six-figure salaries in 2019/20 across the south east of Hampshire - an increase of 10 compared to the previous year.

According to figures compiled by the Taxpayers’ Alliance as part of an annual report a total of 23 Hampshire County Council employees were paid more than £100,000 salaries, up from 16 in 2018.

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26 staff at Portsmouth, Fareham and Hampshire councils earn more than £100,000

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Among them was top earner John Coughlan - the chief executive of Hampshire council - who took home £224,929, which is considerably more than the prime minister's salary of £158,754.

And in Portsmouth City Council eight workers earned six-figure salaries - down from nine the previous year with chief executive David Williams being paid the most at £188,014.

Other high earners in the city were the director of finance and revenues on £139,000 a year and the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership chief executive on £134,857.

At Fareham Borough Council two people earned £100,000 or more and in East Hampshire District Council three people did.

It comes as both Portsmouth and Hampshire councils are setting a 4.99 per cent council tax increase for residents in 2021/22, as well as looking to make 'efficiencies' due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

John O’Connell, chief executive of the Taxpayers' Alliance, criticised the large salaries. He said: 'Taxpayers facing huge and hated council tax rises want to know they are getting value for money from their local authority leadership.

'At the onset of the coronavirus crisis, thousands of town hall officials were taking home huge sums. While councils were plunged into tackling the pandemic, many staff will have more than earned their keep, but households have nevertheless struggled with enormous and unpopular council tax rises.

'These figures shine a light on the town hall bosses who’ve got it right, and will enable residents to hold those who aren’t delivering value for money to account.'

A spokesman for Hampshire County Council, said: ‘The data that the Taxpayers’ Alliance has provided is readily available, as we publish these details each year. The figures also include the pay of staff from across almost 500 Hampshire schools – whose salary scales are determined by schools.

‘It’s also important to note that the roles of a number of our most senior officers now go beyond the delivery of services on behalf of just Hampshire County Council (the third largest shire council in the country, serving 1.4 million residents). These positions are also responsible for the delivery of a range of services to a number of other local authorities and public sector partners.

‘Hampshire County Council is one of the largest and most effective public sector organisations in the country, with a turnover of £2.3 billion per year, employing over 10,000 people directly and many more indirectly, who deliver a wide range of complex and essential services. We need to recruit and retain the best senior officers but in doing so we constantly ensure that our rates of pay are competitive, but sustainable.’

Portsmouth City Council was approached for comment.

No figures for Gosport or Havant councils were provided as part of the data.

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