Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Monkeys and peanuts

A subject guaranteed to upset just about anyone who has to pay council tax is how much we pay our council chief executives.

Here in Carmarthenshire, we have long known that ours is one of the best paid, as befits the best council in Wales. Meryl Gravell argued on several occasions, after all, that if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

Councils are obliged to disclose what they pay their top officers, and to publish bandings showing how many senior officers fall into which salary bands.

Unfortunately, local government being what it is, it is not altogether easy to compare the pay of one local authority chief executive with another.Some include payments made in respect of duties as returning officers; others exclude those figures. Some include employers pension contributions and other benefits in a sum showing total renumeration; others don't.

All of which means that the figures in the table below serve as a guide only. All these figures were taken from the respective annual Statement of Accounts for each Welsh authority for 2011-12, except for Wrexham where a changing of the guard part way through the year means that the 2010/11 figures are shown.

The table also shows population figures for each authority, and as we can see, the relative size and complexity of each authority is not an indicator of renumeration. Cardiff, which has almost twice the population of Carmarthenshire, paid its chief executive only £10,000 more.

Contrary to the Gravell doctrine, it also seems to be the case that councils which hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons are quite often those that pay the most peanuts.

As we know, the patchwork quilt of Welsh local government with its 22 local authorities looks strange in comparison with the much larger units which make up local government in England.

Devon, with a population of 1.14 million (over six times the size of Carmarthenshire) paid its chief executive just £177,000 in 2011/12. Gloucestershire (population 858,000) forked out £198,000 on its top man. By any measure, we Welsh are extraordinarily generous.

So here for your reading pleasure is an alphabetical run-down of chief executive renumeration for 2011/12, including returning officer fees and employer pension contributions (subject to the qualification stated above).

 
Authority
Chief Executive total renumeration 2011-12
Population (2009) (000s)
Anglesey
£127k (a)
70
Blaenau Gwent
£126
70
Bridgend
£170k
134
Caerffili
£128k (b)
178
Cardiff
£219k
336
Carmarthenshire
£209k
180
Ceredigion
£125k
76
Conwy
£139k
110
Denbighshire
£153k
97
Flintshire
£191k
150
Gwynedd
£131k
118
Merthyr Tydfil
£138k
59
Monmouthshire
£140k
91
Neath Port Talbot
£148k
137
Newport
£147k
140
Pembrokeshire
£194k
117
Powys
£160k
131
Rhondda Cynon Taf
£159k
234
Swansea
£169k
231
Torfaen
£140k
90
Vale of Glamorgan
£183k
126
Wrexham
£134k (c)
133


(a)  Chief executive commenced on 1 May 2011, so not quite a full year. 
(b)   Best estimate based on information provided
(c)    Figure for 2010/11

5 comments:

Jon said...

Another measure of a Chief Executive's worth is the size of the workforce which he or she has to manage. Cardiff has a workforce of 15,697, whilst Carmarthenshire has a total of 9132 employees - http://www.local.gov.uk/web/guest/local-government-intelligence/-/journal_content/56/10171/2991184/ARTICLE-TEMPLATE

Mr House, the Cardiff CEx receives £13.95 for each employee he is responsible for, whereas Mr James gets £22.88 for each of his employees. Are Carmarthenshire local government workers almost twice as difficult to manage as Cardiff ones? I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Both are getting far too much money.

Anonymous said...

Such greed!. Sadly no shame.

Anonymous said...

Meryl thinks they're twice as difficult to manage... nothing but rabble! ;)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for researching this -- illuminating.