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.
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
Nathan Elvery, Interim CEO
Paul Greenhalgh, Executive director of children, families and learning
Hannah Miller, Deputy CEO and Executive Director of Adult Services, Health and Housing
Julie Belvir, borough solicitor
Richard Simpson, Director of Finance and Assets and Interim Section 151 Officer
Pam Parkes, Director of Workforce and Community Relations
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.
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.”
- Labour and the hidden agenda as Elvery is handed top job
- Croydon appoints Negrini as fifth planning chief in two years
- Croydon’s £1,000-a-day planning chief set to leave council
- £20 million: Croydon’s planned spend on consultants this year
Coming to Croydon
- Mythical Maze stories, Crystal Palace Maze, Aug 6
- David Lean Cinema: Grand Budapest Hotel, Aug 7
- Elm Tree Cottage garden open day, Aug 10
- Mythical Maze stories, Crystal Palace Maze, Aug 13
- David Lean Cinema: The Wind Rises, Aug 14
- Mind-Loosing Workshop, Aug 16
- David Lean Cinema: The Love Punch, Aug 16
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Aug 16
- Mythical Maze stories, Crystal Palace Maze, Aug 20
- David Lean Cinema: Stop The Pounding Heart, Aug 21
- Mythical Maze stories, Crystal Palace Maze, Aug 27
- David Lean Cinema: Frank, Aug 28
- Upper Norwood Library well-being groups, Aug 30
- Warlingham rugby dinner with international Richard Hill, Sep 12
- Norwood Society Talk: War Memorials, Sep 18
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Sep 20
- Streatham Common 6M race, Sep 27
- Norwood Society Talk: From Fire Station to Theatre, Oct 16
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Oct 18
- Norwood Society Talk: Lambeth’s Archives, Nov 20
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