Councils reduce middle managers

Jobs: County Hall has fewer workers earning more than �50,000 than in 2010-11
Jobs: County Hall has fewer workers earning more than �50,000 than in 2010-11
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Lacashire County Council has shed almost 100 high-earning jobs in the past three years, new research claims.

An investigation by campaign group the TaxPayers’ Alliance indicates that LCC employed 236 staff on salaries in excess of £50,000 in 2011-12, 94 fewer than in the previous year.

The reduction has shaved £6,460,000 off the council’s wage bill, with the remaining high earners costing £15,280,000 a year between them.

That places LCC among the 10 councils which have made the biggest decrease in middle-management employees earning more than £50,000 since 2010.

LCC leader Geoff Driver said: “Reducing the number of senior managers at the county council was one of the first things we did towards saving £215m on management and administration over the course of our three-year budget programme.

“It’s important we have effective management but we’ve changed the staffing structure to reduce the cost of all of the council’s support services in order to protect the frontline services that matter most to people.

“Freeing up spending on back office services has even allowed us to increase our spending on some key priorities, such as improving the economy and developing the transport network.”

Preston Council has 19 employees on £50,000 or more, down from 24 in 2010-11, at a cost of £1.28m.

South Ribble Council has half a dozen in the same bracket, down two from the year before. Their wage bill comes to £415,000.

Chorley Council has 11 staff earning in excess of £50,000, one more than in 2010-11, at a cost of £747,500.

Fylde Council has six workers earning more than £50,000, with no change in roles from the previous year, at a cost of £440,000. Ribble Valley Council also had no change in numbers from the year before, with five staff earning £367,000.

Lancaster Council spends £810,000 on 10 high earners, seven fewer than the year before. Wyre has three workers on more than £50,000, four fewer than previously.

Teaching jobs were excluded from the survey.

The TaxPayers’ Alliance claims that, nationally, 7.5 per cent of council tax is spent on wages for council staff earning in excess of £50,000.

Some councils increased spending on remuneration due to redundancy payments.

Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the group, said: “Councillors need to insist that their local authority does more to find savings and cut back on staff costs that residents cannot afford.”