Council boss tops Blair salary

PUBLISHED: 10:59 15 March 2007 | UPDATED: 11:40 06 May 2010

A NEW study has shown that the chief executive of a council in Comet country is the ninth highest paid in the UK. According to the Taxpayers Alliance, which asked councils across the UK to provide information under the Freedom of Information Act, Hertfor

A NEW study has shown that the chief executive of a council in Comet country is the ninth highest paid in the UK.

According to the Taxpayers' Alliance, which asked councils across the UK to provide information under the Freedom of Information Act, Hertfordshire County Council's Caroline Tapster was paid £188,500 during the financial year 2005/06.

This was £2,000 more than Prime Minister Tony Blair.

At the top of the list was Peter Gilroy, the chief executive of Kent County Council who earned £229,999.

After a minor pay increase the previous year of 1.89 per cent, other top council officials at Hertfordshire County Council were given above-inflation pay rises.

For example, John Harris, the director of children, schools and family, received a pay rise of 9.76 per cent taking his salary in 2005/06 to £142,762 and John Wood, the director of environment, received a pay rise of 7.32 per cent, taking his salary in 2005/06 to £139,587.

According to figures received by the alliance, 10 Herts council officials received over £100,000 each during the last financial year.

The Taxpayers' Alliance has hit out at the sums, saying that while top council officials get paid large salaries, taxpayers are struggling to pay their council tax bills.

A spokesman for Hertfordshire County Council said pay rises for chief officers are set by politicians, who take into account inflation, movement in the market and performance.

The spokesman said: "To attract the brightest and best people you have to pay a suitable wage.

"We have recently been confirmed by the Audit Commis-sion as one of the country's top performing councils for the fifth year running.

"As an organisation we demand a lot from our senior people and believe that this gives the tax payer good value for money."

Salaries for other local chief executives during 05/06 are;

Andrea Hill, Bedfordshire County Council, £130,000 approx.

Jaki Salisbury, Mid Beds council, £101,141.

Ian Paske, Stevenage Borough Council, salary range between £91,338 and £106,149

John Campbell, North Hertfordshire District Council, salary range between £95,202 and £104,742.


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