April 6, 2022 6.00 am

Lincolnshire County Council tops Town Hall Rich List for second year in a row

15 officers earning a high grade

Lincolnshire County Council has, for the second year, been named as the council with the most individuals paid above £100,000 in the East Midlands in a list by the Tax Payer’s Alliance.

According to its Town Hall Rich List 2022 data, the county had 15 individuals above that pay grade in 2020-21, down one from 16 last year.

The highest paid individual in the East Midlands however, is from Northamptonshire. The highest paid at Lincolnshire County Council was Chief Executive Debbie Barnes, who was paid £219,815.

Commenting on the figures, Mrs Barnes, said: “The county council has a relatively small senior management team for an organisation our size, and the number of managers has been significantly reduced over the last decade.

“With one of the lowest council tax rates in the country, we are confident that our residents get good value for money.

“It’s worth remembering councils will be playing a key role in supporting those who are most vulnerable to price increases by offering schemes such as the free holiday food and activity schemes and supporting businesses to access funding and reduce their costs.

“Local councils play a vital role in our communities.

“Over the last year our senior managers have overseen services that protect our most vulnerable residents, managing hundreds of staff and multi-million-pound budgets in the most challenging of times.

“To attract and retain people with the necessary skills and experience to do this, we pay a competitive salary.”

Elsewhere in the data released by the TPA:

  • Boston has one person who earned over £100,000. Its monitoring officer earned £107,658 during 2020-21.
  • East Lindsey had four staff members earn over £100k, including the assistant director for corporate governance who earned £253,324. £224,837 of that, however, was compensation.
  • The City of Lincoln Council also had four people earn more than £100k. Chief Executive Angela Andrews received £144,969.
  • There were three people at North Kesteven District Council earning over £100,000. Chief Executive Ian Fytche took home £148,904
  • Six people at North East Lincolnshire Council broke the bracket, with chief executive Rob Walsh taking home £189,750
  • Seven at North Lincolnshire were paid above £100k. Chief Executive David Hyde took home £191,563.
  • At South Kesteven District Council five people earned above £100,000. Chief Executive Karen Bradford took home £161,000.
  • West Lindsey District Council had two people in positions earning over £100k. Chief Executive Ian Knowles took home £157,885.
  • South Holland District Council had no officers remunerated over £100k according to the data.

The TPA has called for local authorities to stop council tax rises and “wasteful spending” as it released the list this year.

Most band D council tax payers will have seen their bills increase by around 4.5% this year, with Lincolnshire County Council alone voting in favour of a near 5% rise in council tax after upping its initial bid from 3% earlier this year.

For a full run-down of tax rises, click here.

Its data found that nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic the number of council staff receiving more than £100,000 had increased by 119 to at least 2,921 people, the most since 2013-14.

Some 739 of these received over £150,000, 46 more than the previous year and the highest number since the TPA began releasing the Rich List.

John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Taxpayers facing a cost of living crisis want to know they are getting value for money from their local authority leadership.

“With households having suffered through the pandemic and now struggling under colossal tax bills, the country needs councils to prioritise key services without resorting to punishing tax hikes.

“These figures will allow residents to judge town hall bosses for themselves and hold their local councils to account.”