More than a dozen staff at West Sussex County Council earn at least £100,000 per year, a report has revealed.
In its annual ‘town hall rich list’, the Taxpayers’ Alliance also claimed a further 18 staff within the district and borough councils broke the £100k mark for salary/pension in 2017/18.
Over the past few years, councils all over the county have fought to balance their budgets, receiving less and less money from central government and having to make spending cuts of their own to make ends meet.
But many felt the high salaries paid to their top staff – particularly the chief executive – were in line with those of other councils and helped them to attract and keep the best people for the job.
At the county council, the top earners included chief executive Nathan Elvery, who was paid £190,000 with a £46,930 pension.
Others were the director of adults’ services – £119,382 and £29,487 pension; the director of finance, performance & procurement – £123,347 salary and £30,467 pension; the director of education & skills – £110,000 salary and £27,170 pension; and the director of highways & transport – £110,000 salary and £27,170 pension.
The report listed a total of 16 high-paid roles at the county council, including two – with salaries of £112,500 and £117,500 – which were listed as ‘undisclosed’ but a spokesman said he ‘did not recognise’ them.
At Arun District Council, chief executive Nigel Lynn pocketed a salary of £118,000, while his pension contributions were £24,000.
The director of place, who is responsible for areas such as development control and economic policy, earned a £90,000 salary plus £16,000 pension. The figures were the same for the director of services.
A council spokesman said: “The chief executive leads the organisation and therefore has the highest level of accountability for a wide range of services across the whole of the Arun district.
“Arun has one of the largest populations in West Sussex, serving more than 160,000 residents.
“The remuneration of the chief executive is recommended by the council’s remuneration committee and the decision is democratically endorsed by full council.
“This committee comprises of elected councillors from the main political parties and determines the pay of the chief executive on appointment and annually thereafter.
“The remuneration committee takes into account recommendations concerning performance from the chief executive appraisal panel.
“It also reviews market data relevant to chief executive pay for a large district such as Arun.”
Report by Karen Dunn, local democracy reporter