TOP earners at Suffolk County Council – who cost council tax payers about £7million between them last year – can today be revealed by the East Anglian Daily Times.

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EADT comment

THE senior Suffolk County Council staff listed here all earn very good money.

In fact, their combined pay totals well over £5m.

What the EADT has consistently said about these people is that they should all take a 10% pay cut.

Doing so would be a really powerful message of solidarity to Suffolk’s hundreds of thousands of council tax payers, many of whom are struggling financially in these difficult times.

If all staff on the list reduced their pay by 10%, the total cost saving would be around £700,000 a year, including reduced on-costs.

Well worth having for an authority which is struggling to balance its budget and considering cutting cherished services.

The county has a list of staff earning more than £55,000 on its website – these are centrally-employed staff, not including teachers or other school officials.

And while the salaries are as stated, on-costs to the authority including pension contributions and National Insurance costs add another 20% to the employment bill.

That pushes the total figure for these managers to £7m.

Heading the list is chief executive Andrea Hill whose £218,000 salary has been widely reported.

The salary list was compiled in October last year, and at that time there were four directly-employed directors listed.

Simon White is interim director of children and young people and is not directly employed by the council, and director of resource management Graham Dixon left the authority at the end of March.

The figures concerned Dr Dan Poulter, Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP, who was concerned that too many managers were seeing their salaries rise while staff in the front line were facing wage freezes or tiny increases.

He said: “It is those right at the sharp end, the social workers, the care workers, library staff, and those directly dealing with the public who are facing increasingly tough times.

“Yet there seems to be an increasing number of managers who are earning what is by any standards a very good salary. I can understand people being concerned about that.”

Opposition Liberal Democrat councillors completed their own survey of high-earners at the county council last year.

That showed that among all county employees – including school staff – the salaries paid to all staff earning more than £50,000 had increased significantly.

The total wage bill for these high earners had gone up from £6m to £16m over the last five years.

Lib Dem leader Kathy Pollard said: “We have very serious concerns about the growth in the number of highly-paid staff at the county council over recent years.

“At a time when everyone is struggling to make ends meet, we are seeing the salary costs increase significantly and this is something that the administration needs to address urgently.”

The county defended its management structure – saying it remained one of the most efficient in the country.

Council deputy leader Jane Storey, who is responsible for finance at Endeavour House, said: “Suffolk County Council published these figures last October as part of our efforts to be as open and transparent as possible.

“The county council is a large organisation which requires an appropriate management structure to be in place to make sure it operates effectively.

“We have, however, reduced the number of senior management posts in recent years – and a public sector-wide pay freeze currently in 
place means these staffing costs will not have increased. Despite the difficult job they have to perform, Suffolk County Council has the lowest cost executive management team pay bill of all county councils in the Eastern region.”

9 comments

  • Hmmm...rather disappointed that my contribution to this story was edited out of the comments?....perhaps sombody could drop me an email and explain why. Didn't fit with the editorial position?

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    Backbiter

    Monday, June 20, 2011

  • It is not the salaries in themselves that bother me, but the surprising number of posts. I would guess that if half these jobs were to dissappear, it would be hard to notice any changes - apart of course from the money saved and the reduced number of lights on in Endeavour House!

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    David

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

  • This 'non-story' has been a 'non-story' that won't go away. If Andrea Hill or, likewise, Suffolk County top paid employers have been 'worth' their salt then we have not been informed nor has their self worth filtered through. Quite worrying wouldn't you say? We have, though, been undermined by SCC who have told their electorate after a failed democratic vote for change that we deserve the cuts we now get. If this is how the management patronises their public then they are being paid too much. They are not worthy to lick our boots.

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    sue douglas

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

  • MPS benefit greatly from expenses and platinum plated pensions and tell us 'we're all in this together' before they stripped the lower paid of their entitlements.

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    sue douglas

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

  • This is a non-story - indicative of the backwater that suffolk really is. These salaries are, by market comparison to similar roles in similar sized private sector organisations, LOW, and as taxpayers we should be grateful that SCC is operating within such limits. If you study hard, work hard and deliver the goods then you deserve good money. If you have no aspirations, no work ethic, and no drive to look for roles in diverse markets locations, then you will be perfect eye-candy for many employers in the Suffolk locality - and spend your days being envious and critical of those who have done well for themselves. If you want to do something about that, then do not write these stories, or comment on them, but put the effort in and make a career for yourself!

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    Simon

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

  • Clearly those at the top in local government are on what most would consider to be unjustifiably huge salaries. But at the other end of the scale, some of the lowest page jobs are also to be found in the public sector. Yet, on 30th June when many low-paid local government workers across the country will be taking strike action, I confidently expect there to be plenty of comments on these pages and elsewhere about gold-plated public sector pensions. Historically, local government pensions have been relatively generous in order to compensate for the generally low level of pay. I hope the EADT, in its coverage and subsequent editorial of the events on the 30th, doesn't fall into the same trap.

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    Origami Penguin

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

  • This is very much a tax payers story. I agree Simon that good work should be rewarded, but the County Council pays top rates for poor mediocrity. It is an old and expensive model of government - time for it to go.

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    Peter Wyburn

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

  • What the council are basically saying is: " sorry but you need to make cuts to your police department because our salaries are much more important than public safety " lets hope they make these cuts of at least 10%. It is ridiculous

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    Robert Spencer

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

  • Nice to know were all suffering together.

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    David Pomroy

    Sunday, June 19, 2011

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