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Council Pay & Pensions
Eric Pickles pledges to cut 'bloated' council pay

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles says:

Councils must slim down pay packets”  Go

Hugh Dunnachie, LBH’s Chief Executives is currently paid  184,459 pa

What people are saying about senior council pay and pensions Go

Audit Commission report on payments to Chief Executives Go

New Remuneration Disclosure Regulations Go

LBH Pension Scheme 50 million in the red Go

Council’s rich list revealed

The salaries paid to Councillors  and Cabinet Members 08/09 Go

Salaries of Senior LBH Council Officers
  at Feb 2010  Go

Audit Commission report July 2010 - “,,investments have failed to deliver the anticipated returns and the funds currently cover only about three-quarters of the scheme’s future liabilities”.  Go

What people are saying about senior council pay and pensions

Gordon Brown has described the increasingly generous remuneration of council executives as “unacceptable”. He said money that should be spent on public services was “going on excessive salaries and unjustified bonuses”. (The Daily Telegraph of 18th Feb 2010)

Local authorities are fat-cat fiefdoms .... more of their officers earn gold-plated salaries that they are desperate to keep secretDetails

Council chiefs pension pots to stay secret  Details

 “The (pension) schemes are elitist: the biggest gainers are not the cleaners but the chief executives” says Professor Philip Booth of the  Institute of Economic Affairs   He urges reform to defuse this time bomb!   Details

Local government needs to take an axe to its own final salary pension scheme before change is forced on the sector from outsidesays the new president of the Public Sector People Managers’ Association    Details

Council’s rich list revealed  Details

Audit Commission report on payments to Chief Executives

Severance payements are often paid to Council Chief Excecutives to get them to go quietly. In March 2010 the Audit Commission publised a report on “Severance payments to council chief executives “. It looked at council chief executives’ job moves over 33 months, and found that:

      Agreed severance packages for 37 council chief executives totalled 9.5 million, 40 per cent of which was in pension benefits.

      This is an average of 257,000

      Three in every ten outgoing council chief executives received a pay-off

      This rate seems to be growing

      The average cost to councils of each severance package was almost double the annual basic salary, but in four cases was more than triple.

       Not all such deals are justified.

      A way should also be found of recouping some of a pay-off where an executive moves quickly into another top council job.

The Commission wants all deals to be more transparent. They should be reviewed by scrutiny or remuneration committees, with details published shortly after they are agreed. And councils should consider whether to include so-called ‘pre-nuptial’ clauses in contracts, specifying the grounds and payment for severance.

Mathew Ball has made an Freedom Of Information request for details of the severence payments made to Dorian Leatham, the previous LBH Chief Executive. He has also asked if there any terms in the contract of the current Chief Executive that prescribe an exit payment?  To see his request go to 

New Remuneration Disclosure Regulations

Under the Account & Audit Regulations 2009 Councils will have to disclose in their annual accounts the following remuneration details:

For Senior employees ie. those earning 150,000 pa or more and certain departmental heads earning over 50,000 pa :  job title (not name except if salary is over 150,000 pa)  salary, fees and allowances, bonuses, expenses allowance, compensation for loss of employemnt, employers pension contribution, and any other emoluments.

For other employees earning 50,000 pa or more:  number of employees in each 5,000 pa band

Government’s explanatory memorandum

LBH Pension Scheme 50 million in the red

The LBH pension scheme is a final salary scheme providing guaranteed benefits regardless of the performance of the underlying investments.   Any shortfalls have to be met by Council in other words by  you and me.  In the private sector such schemes have largely been abandoned on cost grounds.

The last actuarial review was based on valuations at 31/03/07.  The fund then had a deficit of 50 million. The next review will be based on the position at 31/03/10.

Council’s 100,000 rich list revealed
by Dan Coombs, Uxbridge Gazette
May 13 2009

A NUMBER of staff at Hillingdon Council raked in salaries of over 100,000- with one even receiving a 84.5 per cent pay rise.  Figures uncovered by pressure group the Taxpayer's Alliance under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal which staff are members of the privileged 100,000 club.

The town hall rich list shows that Hillingdon's Chief Executive, Hugh Dunnachie, earned 184,459 upon taking up the job, during the financial year from 2007-08, an increase from 100,000 the year before.
In the time period of 2007-08 there were a total of eight staff who still work at the council earning in excess of 100,000, an increase on the previous year. Despite the astronomical salaries of the senior officers, the council was only awarded a lowly two stars by the audit commission.

Peter Silverman, who runs Hillingdon Watch, a website set up to scrutinise the council, said: "Its horrendous, an absolute disgrace, there is no way that anybody needs to earn that amount of money.

Over the past year I have taken up a number of issues with the higher officers and the response has been lacking in quality. 

One can only conclude that we are being exploited by a huge gravy train, including officers, cabinet members, councillors, and it is time it was brought to a halt.

We need a proper mayor who is an independent businessman. It is quite likely that all of these people have substantial pensions too."

Prime Minister Gordon Brown earns a 194,250 salary, only 10,000 more than Hillingdon Council's chief executive.  Maria Fort, Policy Analyst at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:

 “The size of council executives’ pay and perks is staggering, and every year the cost continues to rise.  With bills rising and services stagnating, in too many town halls there is a culture of rewarding failure.

Councils must start tightening their belts, we’re in a recession and many of these rewards are financially unsustainable and morally indefensible."

A spokesperson for Hillingdon Council said:

 "Of the 3,500 staff that work for Hillingdon Council, less than 0.5 per cent earn over 100,000 per year. These staff are responsible for managing the delivery of around 800 different services, a turnover of more than 1 billion a year, numerous facilities such as parks, libraries, schools and leisure centres and 3,500 staff.  

As well as delivering improving services, through strong and efficient management, the council has delivered more than 30m in savings in the last three years, making us one of the most efficient councils in the country and providing good value for money for our residents.”
Hillingdon was one of the few councils not to provide exact salaries for individuals and gave the information in bands.

What do you think? Do the senior officers represent good value for money?

E-mail dancoombs@trinitysouth.co.uk to have your say.

The salaries paid to Councillors  and Cabinet Members 08/09


Special Responsibility Allowance

With Councillor’s  Allowance










Deputy  Mayor






Dep Leader



Chief Whip



Leader of 2nd Party



Dep Leader 2nd party



Chief Whip 2nd Party



Cabinet Member



Chairman Scrutiny and Policy Overview Committee



2nd Party Leader On Scrutiny and Policy Overview Committee



Chairman Of Planning Committee



Party Lead on Planning Committee



Chairman of Licensing Committee



Chairman of Standards Committee


Non elected council appointee

Vice Chairman of Standards Committee


Non elected council appointee

Chairman Of Audit Committee






Cabinet Assistant



Salaries Of Senior LBH Officers

Salary pa

Number of Officers

50,000 - 100,000


100,000 - 150,000


Over 150,000


We obtained these figures  under the Freedom Of Information Act.  They are  basic salaries as at Feb 2010.

To see the full schedule which lists each position by job title click here

It shows for example that we employ 5 “Principal School Improvement Officers” on over
 50,000 pa each

Eric Pickles, Cabinet Minister who oversees local government:  “Councils must slim down bloated pay packets”
Eric Pickles pledges to cut 'bloated' council pay
Daily Telegraph 5th June 2010

The Cabinet minister who oversees councils has launched an outspoken attack on the “non-jobs” and “bloated salaries” that have become commonplace in many local authorities.

Eric Pickles, the Communities and Local Government Secretary, said that the “gravy train for council chief executives” must stop immediately.

He indicated that few council employees should expect to earn more than 100,000 a year in future.
Mr Pickles criticised the “fragile egos” of many council executives and said he had been appalled by the “ludicrous” salary demands he had encountered since starting his job last month.

He added that some of the pay packages being uncovered would “make a football manager blush”.

The minister will today write to all councils effectively ordering them to release details of the salary and perks paid to their senior executives.

They will also have to begin publishing details of all spending over 500, together with information on the effectiveness of their services. The move is the latest stage of the Government’s drive to increase transparency across the public sector.

Go to article in the Telegraph