September 30th, 2016

Top 20 council earners getting £2.2m as cuts bite

Top 20 council earners getting £2.2m as cuts bite Top 20 council earners getting £2.2m as cuts bite
Updated: 4:52 pm, May 07, 2015

THE Observer can reveal a ‘rich list’ of 20 Coventry City Council staff – who earn £2.2million in total.

Our investigation names for the first time those who will earn around £100,000 or more in pay, pension contributions and any extras combined this year.

It comes as 1000 more job posts face the axe with wages for 7,000 ordinary workers set to be pegged to two per cent next year, after years of pay freezes.

Around £65million more cuts over three years include proposals to close nearly all services in communities – from children’s centres to libraries and youth clubs – to save £5million a year.

Controversial proposed cuts for transport to school for disabled children would save just £420,000 a year.

Council leader Ann Lucas pledged after ousting John Mutton in last year’s leadership coup to reduce top earners by nearly a third.

The council claims to have halved the number of managers since 2010, since when a third of government funding has been cut.

But the numbers and total payout on the ‘rich list’ remains largely the same, despite a national drop in the number of town hall six-figure earners.

Chief executive Martin Reeves still earns around £215,000 including pension and his £175,000 salary, more than the Prime Minister’s salary of £142,500.

Three on the list have transferred from the NHS as the council now has responsibility for public health.

The up-to-date list for 2014/15 obtained by us provides much more information about the council’s top earners than has been publicly available until now.

The council’s latest accounts on its website is for the last financial year, 2013/14, and only declares salaries for the majority of the top earners, minus pensions and other remuneration.

Those in the Local Government Pension Scheme receive employer contributions of 13.5 per cent of their salary this year, the council said.

The council told us it expects some senior managers will take voluntary redundancy in future.

Savings in wages from any departures have to be offset against any one-off redundancy payments. More than £7million was paid out last year in exit packages to 292 departing Coventry council staff. It includes 11 who left with exit packages of more than £100,000.

The figures we reveal today exclude expenses placed on senior managers’ corporate credit cards, which are not publicly available.

The council claimed in last year’s statment of accounts that “senior officers have not received any bonuses, expenses or benefits in kind during 2013/14.”

It adds: “The council is required to disclose details of senior officers’ remuneration. This includes: salaries; fees, allowances; bonuses; expenses allowances; compensation for loss of employment; and pension contributions (employer’s contributions and any other emoluments).”

The council this week confirmed some on the ‘rich list’ used their corporate credit cards to pay for work-based expenses.

Pay grades for senior management are set according to a national system called Hay grading, which considers skills and the “market rate”.

The council reviews periodically if pay rises are merited within salary bands.

Well paid council bosses say they are taking home less due to pension scheme changes.

Responding to our investigation, Coventry City Council pointed to those on the ‘rich list’ paying more into their pensions, compared with when the coalition government came to power after 2010.

A council spokesperson said: “All senior managers in the pension fund are seeing reductions in their take home pay due to increases in their contributions to the scheme.

“For example, someone earning more than £85,000 in 2008 contributed 7.5 per cent to the fund compared to 10.5 per cent now for earners between £85,001 and £100,000.

“It is also true to say senior managers in local government earn significantly less as a package than people doing similar jobs in the private sector.

“The council has significantly reduced the number of senior managers in recent years despite national changes which saw councils take on responsibility for public health.

“Since 2011 the number of council senior managers at director level has reduced from seven to four.”

The Local Government Pension Scheme saw changes nationally in April this year, with some local variations.

Government pension changes – intended to help reduce the national deficit – require millions of public workers to pay more into their pensions to get less out.

Local government pensions are less effected than others because they have been self-funded, the Local Government Association has claimed.

THE ‘RICH LIST’

The following list shows total earnings this year for the top 20 earners.

It is based on council information provided to us that employer pension contributions this year across the board are 13.5 per cent of salary, and that the three ex-NHS staff now employed by the council will get 14 per cent from the NHS pension scheme.

We have indicated where individuals are receiving more salary than stated in last year’s accounts.

MARTIN REEVES, chief executive and town clerk

Head of paid staff and management board. Ultimately responsible for budgets, cuts and delivering efficiency savings.

Total earnings: Above £198,625

Salary: £175,000

Pension: £23,625

Undisclosed additional sum for work as Coventry’s returning officer for this year’s police and crime commissioner elections. In the past, he has received an additional £11,651 as returning officer for council and general elections.

CHRIS WEST, executive director resources

Manages the council’s finances and revenue collection, responsible for IT network and HR and workforce services.

Total earnings: £141.074

Salary: £124,295 (£115,760 last year)

Pension: £16,779

MARTIN YARDLEY, executive director place

Leads on delivering highways, transport, waste and street services, planning, inward investment and regeneration.

Total earnings: £141,074

Salary: £124,295

Pension: £16,779

BRIAN WALSH, executive director people

Responsible for schools, adults and children’s social care, environment and housing, trading standards, libraries, community safety.

Total earnings: £141,074

Salary: £124,295

Pension: £16,779

Dr JANE MOORE, director of public health

Delivering the council’s public health responsibilities to protect and improve the city population’s health.

Total earnings: £136,800

Salary: £120,000

Pension: £16,800 (NHS pension)

BERNADETTE LEE

Consultant public health (place)

Strategic leadership for delivering health policies and meeting key public health targets including on heavy weight, physical activity, mental health and stopping smoking.

Total earnings: £112,236

Salary: £98,453

Pension: £13,783 (NHS pension)

JOHN FORDE

Consultant public health (people)

Strategic leadership for delivering health polices and meeting key public health targets including for children and older people.

Total earnings: £112,236

Salary: £98,453

Pension: £13,783 (NHS pension)

SARA ROACH

Deputy director strategy and communities

Leading, developing and implementing “strategic direction”, service delivery and action plans for communities

Total earnings: £102,674

Salary: £90,462

Pension: £12,212

MARK GODFREY

Deputy director early intervention and social care

Leading, developing and implementing “strategic direction”, service delivery and action plans for children and adults, including early intevention in vulnerable families and social care.

Total earnings: £102,674

Salary: £90,462

Pension: £12,212

NIGEL CLEWS

Asistant director property management

Responsible for strategy over council property and asset management, compliance by occupiers, and building repairs and maintenance.

Total earnings: £94,828

Salary: £83,549

Pension: £11,279

BARRY HASTIE

Head of financial management

Responsible for finances of corporate, central services and city services and development, as well and children’s services finance.

Total earnings: £94,828

Salary: £83,549

Pension: £11,279

PETER FAHY

Assistant director strategy, commissioning and partnership

Responsible for developing partnerships, commissioning services, and delivery of the council’s Transformation Programme, which includes new ways of working with reduced funding.

Total earnings: £94,828

Salary: £83,549

Pension: £11,279

SHOKAT LAL

Assitant director customer services

Total earnings: £94,828

Salary: £83,549

Pension: £11,279

ANDREW WALSTER

Assitant director streetscene and greenspace

Responsible for collection and disposal of household and commercial waste, transport and workshop services, taxi licensing, and climate change policies.

Total earnings: £94,828

Salary: £83,549

Pension: £11,279

FRAN COLLINGHAM

Head of corporate communications

Heads the council’s PR, media and communications department.

Total earnings: £94,828

Salary: £83,549

Pension: £11,279

CHRISTINE FORDE

Assistant director legal and democratic services

Responsible for legal services and legally advising the council, responsible for the register office and records. She is also the council’s monitoring officer dealing with complaints.

Total earnings: £94,828

Salary: £83,549

Pension: £11,279

LISA COMMANE

Director of ICT, transformation and customer services

Responsible for financial support for the council’s tranformation agenda and other major projects, and customer services.

Total earnings: £94,828

Salary: £83,549

Pension: £11,279

SIMON BRAKE

Assitant director health, libraries and adult education

Total earnings: £94,828

Salary: £83,549

Pension: £11,279

DAVID COCKROFT

Assitant director development services

Responsible for the city centre and inward investment, the economy and jobs; sports, arts and heritage

Total earnings: £94,828

Salary: £83,549

Pension: £11,279

COLIN KNIGHT

Assitant director highways services

Responsible for planning and building control, traffic, transport and highways

Total earnings: £94,828

Salary: £83,549

Pension: £11,279

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