'Town hall rich list' reveals Wigan Council's £100k+ salaries

More than a dozen Wigan Council leaders earn more than £100,000, a new “town hall rich list” has revealed.

Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 12:56 pm

The Tax Payers’ Alliance (TPA) has today revealed the pay packets of high profile town hall staff across the country, amid calls for top salaries to be cut or frozen in an effort to keep household tax bills down.

Figures show that Wigan Council pays 13 employees £100,000 or more, with chief executive Alison McKenzie-Folan earning a salary of £183,600 and a pension pot of £35,986 - a total package of £219,586.

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The Tax Payers Alliance has published data on how many council workers earn more than £100,000

It was considerably lower than the pay packet of St Helens Council’s chief executive, who took home a basic salary of £237,000, which rose to £254,000 when pension contributions were factored in.

Joanne Roney of Manchester City Council was the only town hall chief executive in Greater Manchester to earn more than Alison McKenzie-Folan, with a salary of £202,878.

Wigan’s director for adult social care and health took home a salary of £145,656, the same amount earned by the deputy chief executive, Paul McKevitt.

Colette Dutton, the director for children’s services earned £131,007, while the director for environment, Paul Barton earned £124,848, the same amount as the economy and skills director.

Wigan Council chief executive Alison McKenzie-Folan

The director for public health, Professor Kate Ardern, earned £121,865, and £96,097 went to the town hall’s director of transformation, Sonia Halliwell.

The remaining council employees who earns £100k+ salaries were not disclosed in the data.

New public opinion data released alongside the Town Hall Rich List found the overwhelming majority of people oppose council tax increases by a four-to-one margin, with working class voters considerably more opposed.

The polling found widespread agreement that there were ways to help keep council tax down, including 59 per cent of respondents believing that councils should freeze or cut salaries of senior staff.

Deputy chief executive Paul McKevitt

The Tax Payers’ Alliance has called on all local authorities to “stop council tax rises and cut down on wasteful spending”, although Wigan Council has previously frozen council tax for seven years and, as set out in its most recent budget, does not have plans to cut any services.

John O’Connell, chief executive of the TPA said: “Taxpayers facing huge and hated council tax rises want to know they are getting value for money from their local authority leadership.

“At the onset of the coronavirus crisis, thousands of town hall officials were taking home huge sums.

“While councils were plunged into tackling the pandemic, many staff will have more than earned their keep, but households have nevertheless struggled with enormous and unpopular council tax rises.

Professor Kate Ardern, director of Public Health

“These figures shine a light on the town hall bosses who’ve got it right, and will enable residents to hold those who aren’t delivering value for money to account.”

Lisa Selby, assistant director for human resources and organisational development at Wigan Council said: “Wigan Council is the second largest council in Greater Manchester and takes responsibility for hundreds of services which run every day for our residents.

“As part of our determination to provide value for money, we continuously review our management structure and work closely with our partners to combine roles where possible or seek opportunities to share responsibilities to deliver outcomes for our residents.

“Our focus remains on delivering value for money and the best outcomes for residents, communities and our borough.”

The full figures can be viewed at www.taxpayersalliance.com/town_hall_rich_list_2021.

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