Rich list reveals council CEOs’ salaries

£3million was paid to just 24 council employees in Southend over the last financial year.

A study of town hall “fat cats” found that these senior staff were paid an average of £126,000 – more than three times the average salary paid to council staff.

The figures from the Town Hall Rich List, an annual report produced by pressure group The Taxpayer’s Alliance, a list of every council employee in the UK paid £100,000 per year or more, showed the former Southend chief executive pocketed more than £163,000 in the year ending April 2021.

Essex County Council CEO Gavin Jones

That figure was eclipsed by the chief executive of Essex County Council, Gavin Jones, who received £249,866, which together with pension remuneration and expenses made him the 61st best paid council employee in the country.

And Basildon Council’s Scott Logan received a £190,430 salary, with other benefits making a combined remuneration of £230,955.

Across the four south Essex councils there were 38 employees paid in excess of £100,000. This included nine Basildon staff, three Castle Point employees, and two at Rochford.

Thurrock Council’s chief executive, Lyn Carpenter took home a total of £218,000, while 11 other staff earned more than £100,000.

Council chiefs defended the figures saying these numbers were justified given the responsibilities asked of them

A Southend Council spokesman said: “These senior leaders are tasked with incredibly difficult and sensitive tasks, including helping devise annual budgets that help the city to progress, whilst also maintaining vital services for our residents.”

But John O’Connell, spokesman for the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “These figures will allow taxpayers to judge town hall bosses for themselves and hold their local council to account.”

Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter