Page last updated at 05:27 GMT, Friday, 28 March 2008

Council bosses 'get more than PM'

Taxpayers' Alliance protest
The Taxpayers' Alliance campaigns for lower taxes in local government

At least 14 people working for local councils earn more than the prime minister, according to figures collated by the Taxpayers' Alliance.

And it claims that 818 local authority managers earned more than 100,000 in 2006-7, up from 645 the previous year.

Its "rich list" was led by Peter Gould, chief executive of Northamptonshire County Council, on 215,000 a year.

But the Local Government Association said some of the data used by the campaign group was wrong or outdated.

And the report should be taken with "an immense dollop of salt", according to John Ransford, the deputy chief executive of the association, which represents more than 400 councils in England and Wales.

The Taxpayers' Alliance had made "personal attacks on individual people who have no part in the setting of salaries and no chance to defend themselves", he added.

'Cut back'

In second place on the council "rich list" with earnings of 213,162 was Kim Ryley, who is the chief executive at Hull City Council.

Families and pensioners are struggling with the demands of yet another council tax rise, and councils owe it to them to cut back on executive pay hikes
Matthew Elliott
Taxpayers' Alliance

Earning 205,000 and sharing third position were Derek Myers, chief executive in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and his equivalent on Northampton Borough Council, Mairi Mclean.

And in joint fifth were Nick Johnson, chief executive of Bexley in south-east London, and Kent County Council's Peter Gilroy, both of whom had salaries of 203,000.

In contrast, Gordon Brown receives a total salary of 189,994 for his roles as prime minister and MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath.

The Taxpayers' Alliance said its study found that average pay rises were 4.6%, whereas the prime minister has demanded a 2% salary cap.

Alliance chief executive Matthew Elliott claimed too often high council executives were "rewarded handsomely even when they fail".

"Families and pensioners are struggling with the demands of yet another council tax rise, and councils owe it to them to cut back on executive pay hikes."


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