HR chiefs in ‘Town Hall Rich List’

At least nine HR chiefs feature in a ‘Town Hall Rich List’, compiled by pressure group the Taxpayers’ Alliance.

Figures collated by the Taxpayers’ Alliance under the Freedom of Information Act found that 818 local authority managers earned more than £100,000 in 2006-07, up from 645 the previous year. And at least 14 local council executives receive higher salaries than prime minister Gordon Brown.

The highest earner on the ‘Rich List’ was Kent County Council chief Peter Gilroy, who took home almost £230,000, the survey found.

Alan Warner, corporate director at Hertfordshire County Council, who took home £146,338 in 2006-07, topped the list of HR chiefs. He was followed by Northamptonshire council’s HR director, Hilary Jeanes, who took home £135,000.

Also on the list were:

  • Heather Barnes, director personnel and performance at Devon council: £123,540

  • John Comber, HR and organisational director at Greenwich council: £117,680

  • George Bishop, director of Personnel at Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea: £115,000

  • Val Jones, director of HR and Diversity at Brent council: £123,540

  • Mike Cooke, director organisational development at Camden council: £107,100

  • Gill Hibberd, corporate director HR and organisational development at Buckinghamshire County Council: £101,568

  • Norma Aird, head of corporate human resources at Glasgow council: £100,000

A survey conducted by recruitment firm Reed Human Resources found that HR directors’ salaries increased by 15% in 2007, taking their average wage to £73,264.

Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “Taxpayers have a right to know how much senior town hall officials are being paid, because only then can we judge whether they deserve their remuneration.

“Too often, council executives are rewarded handsomely even when they fail. Families and pensioners are struggling with the demands of yet another council tax rise, and councils owe it to them to cut back on executive pay hikes,” he said.

The Local Government Association claimed parts of the survey, obtained under Freedom of Information Laws from 450 British councils late last year, are outdated.

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