Council salaries: New report shows bumper pay packets for the bosses

Sandra Black and Steven Quinn are among the high earnersCouncil gravy train has chugged  into Renfrewshire where Sandra Black and Steven Quinn are highest earners.

West Dunbartonshire Council’s chief officers must now be looking with envy  across the Erskine Bridge to Renfrewshire where seven senior officials at Renfrewshire Council were each paid an eye-watering six-figure salary last year, a new report shows.

Journalist Norman Silvester is reporting this weekend that figures released by the TaxPayers’ Alliance confirm that the local authority’s highest earner was chief executive Sandra Black, whose £186,469 pay packet included £12,190 for her job as Returning Officer for Renfrewshire at the European and UK elections.

Second on the list is Alan Russell, director of finance and resources, who was on £146,859, followed by Steven Quinn, director of children’s services, who was paid £142,615 per annum.

The amount being paid to West Dunbartonshire’s chief executive is the equivalent of the salaries of 15 care workers who are working for a pittance during the Covid pandemic.

Jonathan McColl, leader of the SNP administration in Church Street, according to the latest figures we have [the council refuse to speak to The Democrat] more than £40,000 a year for what is generally regarded as a part-time job.

The TaxPayers’ Alliance said two other council employees were paid £102,550 each but their names and jobs were not disclosed.

West Dunbartonshire and Renfrewshire are two of the most deprived area in Scotland with high unemployment levels, widespread child poverty and families living off free food from food banks.

All of the pay packets listed for council bosses covered the 2019/20 financial year.

Renfrewshire Council declined to comment on the salaries of their senior officials, which are set nationally by the Scottish Joint Negotiating Committee for Local Authority Service.

The TaxPayers’ Alliance compiled a ‘Town Hall Rich List’ that found a total of 2,802 council staff across the UK received a salary in excess of £100,000.

Glasgow City Council had 14 staff earning in excess of £150,000 a year – more than any other local authority in Britain.

Several senior officials had bigger pay packets than either Prime Minister Boris Johnson or First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

John O’Connell, TaxPayers’ Alliance chief executive, said: “At the onset of the pandemic, thousands of town hall officials were taking home huge sums.

“Many staff will have more than earned their keep but these figures shine a light on bosses and will allow residents to hold to account those who are not delivering value for money.”

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