15 Croydon Council employees receive total salaries of £1.8m

Croydon Council spent £1,833,846 on the salaries and pension contributions of just 15 executive staff members in 2012-2013, according to figures published by the TaxPayers’ Alliance.

People who build glasshouses can trouser massive salaries: Fisher's Folly, Croydon Council's head office

People who build glasshouses can trouser massive salaries: Fisher’s Folly, Croydon Council’s head office

Averaged out – and one or two individuals were trousering considerably more than the average – that means that our council’s most senior staff are being paid around £2,350 per week.

The council’s executive wage bill for 2012-2013 – the last year for which figures are available – was reduced by more than £1 million over the previous financial year.

That is largely because six people holding executive positions paying mega-salaries appear to have been cut from the council’s wage bill, including a single individual who in that one year was paid a total of £212,500.

The TPA was unable to name that executive, but Inside Croydon believes it may be Paul “Sponger” Spooner, who left his £1,000 per day job as the borough’s planning chief at the end of November 2013.

Croydon Council’s highest paid employee last year was its chief executive, Jon Rouse, on £198,260. This was around £20,000 less than Rouse received in his remuneration package the previous year, largely because in February 2013, the CEO quit his post for another job that pays only half as much …

The TPA has only been able to identify the seven leading earners at Croydon Council, as another eight who are all paid more than £100,000 have had their names and roles withheld.

For 2012-2013, Croydon Council’s named top earners were (total salary and pension package, excluding expenses or additional fees for duties such as returning officer):

Jon Rouse, CEO

£198,260

Nathan Elvery, Interim CEO

£191,051

Paul Greenhalgh, Executive director of children, families and learning

£169,107

Hannah Miller, Deputy CEO and Executive Director of Adult Services, Health and Housing

£153,583

Julie Belvir, borough solicitor

£130,530

Richard Simpson, Director of Finance and Assets and Interim Section 151 Officer

£129,473

Pam Parkes, Director of Workforce and Community Relations

£129,342

Paul Greenhalgh: Croydon director behind the sale of the Riesco collection

Paul Greenhalgh: £169,000 Croydon director in charge of schools and education

Most of these figures are at a similar level to the previous year, although Simpson’s package increased by £3,000 and Elvery’s by £2,000 over 2011-2012.

Parkes left her job as head of HR last spring, shortly after Elvery took over from Rouse as the “interim” CEO.

Elvery, of course, has since been confirmed as the borough’s chief executive, a job that was never advertised. According to the leadership of the now Labour-run council, Elvery is to receive a salary of £180,000, which if true would represent a 5 per cent pay cut, and he will also be expected to take on the added responsibilities of Hannah Miller’s job, as she is to leave the council and not be replaced.

The TPA figures focus solely on how much is paid to council executives, and do not show fees paid to “consultants” – often recent former employees, but later hired on temporary contracts and therefore not appearing as full-time staff.

In 2012 alone, Croydon Council spent £20 million on consultants.

The £1 million cut from Croydon’s executive wage bill may also be misleading, since some posts may have been left vacant only temporarily – Spooner was replaced in January 2014 by Jo Negrini, whose salary does not appear on last year’s accounts.

Large pay-offs continue to be made by Croydon Council, with the last statement of accounts showing that someone received around £125,000 in redundancy in the last financial year – despite such pay-offs being tightly capped for most employees under new terms and conditions introduced under Rouse.

Hannah Miller: soon to be ex-council employee on £150,000 per year

Hannah Miller: soon to be an ex-Croydon Council employee on £150,000 per year

On publishing its research, the TPA said, “Executive pay in many town halls continues to be insulated from economic reality, despite the urgent need to find savings and the fact that many councils claim that they have insufficient cash to fund frontline services, and enforce pay freezes on their rank and file staff.”

The TPA research highlights some intriguing situations.

In London, Wandsworth, regarded as a model Tory-run administration, has more employees – 29 – on £100,000-plus per year than any other local authority in the capital. One of them, Paul Martin, Wandsworth’s chief executive, is also the country’s highest-paid local government employee with (excluding one-off golden handshakes) a tidy £274,224 per year.

“Taxpayers expect their council to be filling pot holes, not pay packets,” said the TPA’s Jonathan Isaby.

“Many rank-and-file staff in local councils will be equally appalled – at a time when councils across the country are freezing pay, it appears the money they’re saving is being used to line the pockets of town hall tycoons.”

 



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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
This entry was posted in Council Tax, Croydon Council, Hannah Miller, Jon Rouse, Julie Belvir, Nathan Elvery, Paul Spooner, Planning and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to 15 Croydon Council employees receive total salaries of £1.8m

  1. tomvoute says:

    OK, but the Tax Payers’ Alliance is pretty selective about such things. What about the outrageous salaries paid to the bossess of privatised public services?

    • Am sure that were we to research an article about privatised public services in Croydon, the salaries paid to their bosses might then be relevant. But in an article about the salaries of some council staff, they’re not.

  2. Nick Davies says:

    Is it absolutely clear that they mean just headquarters staff earning over £100,000pa? I ask because top end head teachers get more than that, quite a lot more if you include pension contributions, and lumping them in will skew the figures in a way which will suit the TPA’s Tory backers nicely.

    • The TPA has tried to separate out council staff from teaching staff, but admit that that is not always possible in instances where not all the £100k-plussers are identified.

      This has caused problems in the TPA’s research in other boroughs, but from what we have seen of previous council accounts, it appears that they are pretty accurate as far as Croydon is concerned. Certainly, none of the named employees work in Croydon schools.

  3. This is not the Socialist Republic of Croydon though. If you pay peanuts you know what you will get. These people who earn more than £100k can easily get jobs somewhere else and get paid more. They are paid a certain salary according to market rates.

    What we should be looking at is whether these highly paid people are competent enough in their jobs, and not how much they are being paid.

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