Top salaries for Sheffield Council bosses revealed in new report

Sheffield Council chief executive John Mothersole
Sheffield Council chief executive John Mothersole
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New figures show Sheffield Council’s chief executive John Mothersole was paid over £219,000 in salary and pension contributions last year.

Figures collated by the Taxpayers’ Alliance also shows the authority’s executive director of communities, earned £157,139.

Data revealed Sheffield Council pays seven staff members more than £100,000 a year - down one person on the year before.

Mr Mothersole earned £184,588 from his basic salary plus a further £34,701 in pension contributions.

Greg Fell, director of public health, was paid around £105,000 - a reduction on his predecessor Jeremy Wight who was previously paid a whopping £178,000 to do the same job.

Local authority bosses were keen to stress the number of directors earning over £75,000 fell from 34 to 28 since 2011.

The Taxpayers’ Alliance said many councils were hiking up council tax bills ‘rather than scaling back on pay for top bosses’.

A spokesman for Sheffield Council said: “We need experienced people in positions of authority at Sheffield Council, to lead others and make this city the very best it can be.

In the last financial year, one member of staff received a salary of more than £150,000 – this being the chief executive, who has a salary of £184,588.

“Budgets are clearly a major concern, especially in a time of austerity. We closely monitor the number and cost of senior officers, and have reduced the number of senior officers in recent years.

“Senior officers at Sheffield Council have also not received a pay award in the last seven years.”

John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said:“ “The average council tax bill has gone up by more than £900 over the last twenty years and spending has gone through the roof. Disappointingly, many local authorities are now responding to financial reality through further tax rises and reducing services rather than scaling back top pay.

"Despite many in the public sector facing a much-needed pay freeze to help bring the public finances under control, many town hall bosses are continuing to pocket huge remuneration packages, with the number of people on six-figure deals actually going up since last year.

"There are talented people in the public sector who are trying to deliver more for less, but the sheer scale of these packages raise serious questions about efficiency and priorities."

Responding to the TaxPayers’ Alliance report on senior pay in local government, Coun Claire Kober, chair of the local government association’s resources board, said: “Councils are large, complex organisations with sizeable budgets and responsibility for delivering more than 700 services, including caring for the elderly and vulnerable and protecting children. It is important that the right people with the right skills and experience are retained to deliver this work.

“Local government is committed to providing value for money to taxpayers and, nationally, incoming chief executives are being paid lower salaries than their predecessors’ and average chief executive salaries continue to decline year-on-year.

“The pay of senior council staff is set by politically proportionate committees of elected councillors and is open to a high level of scrutiny and democratic accountability as a result.”