The chief executives of South Yorkshire’s four cash-strapped councils were given almost £750,000 in remuneration packages in a year, figures have shown.
An annual ‘town hall rich list’ compiled by the Taxpayers’ Alliance campaign group also revealed that 44 members of staff across Sheffield, Doncaster, Rotherham and Barnsley councils had a package worth over £100,000 a year when the data was captured in 2013-2014.
The alliance factored in employers’ pension contributions, expenses and pay-offs as well as salaries into the figures.
Sheffield Council’s chief executive John Mothersole is listed as having a remuneration package of £219,660, although the council confirmed his current salary was £184,588 a year.
In Doncaster chief executive Jo Miller’s package was £179,009, although the council said her wage was £149,000, while former Rotherham Council chief Martin Kimber’s was £160,000 before he resigned in 2014.
Barnsley Council, which paid 15 people remuneration packages of more than £100,000 according to data, gave chief executive Diana Terris a package of £181,000.
In total the chief executives of the councils - all of which have had to make cuts in the wake of Government austerity - had a remuneration of £739,669 that year.
Jonathan Isaby, alliance chief executive, said: “Local authorities that are providing more for less and delivering council tax cuts clearly have talented people at the helm, but taxpayers living in poorly performing areas will be furious at the scale of some of these massive pay awards.
“After more than a decade of reckless spending and council tax hikes, local politicians now have to make necessary savings and the pay and perks for the town hall elite have to come under the spotlight.
He added: “We all deserve to know how our money is being spent, and taxpayers should have the right to decide if they are getting value for their money.”
Doncaster Council said the chief executive salary range was from £147,500 to £162,000 but Ms Miller had opted for a ‘fixed spot salary’ of £149,000 since her appointment.
Ms Miller added: “Being a chief executive is a demanding role delivering a range of services in a challenging environment. Doncaster Council has had its well documented issues and I’ve been at the helm in leading the council on its improvement journey.”
Doncaster’s former director of public health Dr Tony Baxter, who retired in March, had a remuneration package of £151,008. Another 12 staff had a package of over £100,000.
In Sheffield, the alliance said 13 staff received remuneration of £100,000, and two others over £150,000, when it captured data.
Former director of public health Dr Jeremy Wright’s salary and perks was £169,228 before he resigned this year. Remuneration for the unnamed executive director of communities in 2013-14 was listed as £153,768. The council says there are now seven staff on a wage of over £100,000.
The seven employees with a wage of over £100,000 include four executive directors of finance on £132,293.
Current executive director of communities Laraine Manley earns £132,293 and director of place Simon Green’s salary is £126,142.
Jayne Ludlam, executive director of children, young people and families, has a salary of £119,984 and director of children and families Dore Collinson earns £101,137.
Julie Toner, director of human resources, said the council had saved £1m from senior staff pay in the last few years.
She added: “We are the third biggest local authority in the country and yet we are still one of the lowest paying large metropolitan local authorities in terms of top pay. We pay less for our chief executive than Bradford, Cambridgeshire and Buckinghamshire.
“We continue to review our pay structures to make sure we make savings where we can. We have a commitment to fair pay and the living wage and to maintaining a maximum ratio of 10:1 between highest and lowest paid staff.”
Rotherham Council had four staff taking home a package of £100,000 a year.
Stella Manzie, commissioner and managing director, said: “The level of pay for senior officers reflects the significant level of responsibility roles demand and balances this with the need to maintain salaries at an affordable level.
“Information about senior officer salary is published annually in the council’s audited accounts.”