Buckinghamshire Council say Town Hall Rich List 'out of date'

A COUNCIL boss “rich list” that revealed the top earners in the UK’s local authorities has been branded “out of date” by Bucks Council – but some of its employees still take home a tidy sum.

Friday, 9th April 2021, 1:15 pm
Updated Friday, 9th April 2021, 1:18 pm
The Council have refuted the claims - but some still take home a very tidy pay packet

Buckinghamshire Council said the Town Hall Rich List 2021 put out by the TaxPayers’ Alliance did not reflect the current earnings of its top team, adding since the new unitary authority was formed in April 2020 “fewer senior management posts” had been needed.

Among the fat cats in the ‘rich list’ is Bucks Council’s chief executive Rachael Shimmin, who takes home a salary of £210,000, according to a council website.

The TaxPayers’ Alliance however said she earns £223,909 and a pension of £59,112.

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Next is deputy chief executive Sarah Ashmead who takes home between £160,000 and £164,999 according to the council, as opposed to the £174,850 and £42,060 pension in the rich list.

Gillian Quinton, director of adult social care, does not bring home the £174,681 and pension of £42,994 listed by the TaxPayers’ Alliance. Instead, she makes around £166,802.

And neither does director of children’s services Tolis Vouyioukas earn £164,300 and a pension of £43,296, taking home instead between £170,000 and £174,999, according to a council website.

Not listed in the Town Hall Rich List 2021 is planning, growth and sustainability director Ian Thompson, who takes home between £160,000 and £164,999, and communities director Richard Barker bringing home between £150,000 and £154,999.

An unnamed director of resources takes home between £145,000 and £149,999.

The TA ‘rich list’ began in 2007 and claims to be the “most comprehensive list of council employees in the UK in receipt of more than £100,000 in total remuneration”.

The number of local authority employees receiving a more than £100,000 salary has risen to its highest level since 2013-14, according to the Alliance.

A Bucks Council spokesman said: “The TaxPayers’ Alliance figures are unfortunately out of date and refer to the five Bucks councils that have not existed since April 1, 2020.

“Since then, the new unitary Buckinghamshire Council has been in place. Having just one council instead of the previous five has resulted in the need for fewer senior management posts.

“These reductions have resulted in senior staff savings of £1.7 million to date and included moving from four chief executives to just one.

“The senior management salaries in the new council, now one of the largest unitary authorities in the country, reflect the responsibility that their roles entail.

“Together, the management structure is responsible for a council with an annual gross budget of more than one billion pounds, bigger than many FTSE 100 companies.

“Right now, Buckinghamshire Council remains focussed on the fight against Covid-19 and continues to ensure it provides the best possible cost-effectiveness and value for money for the taxpayer in all areas of its operation.”