The council comes clean on its high earners

Halifax Town Hall.
Halifax Town Hall.

The number of staff employed by Calderdale Council on salaries worth £50,000 or more went up last year from 59 to 71.

Among them were two chief officers who earned between £100,000 and £105,000, according the 2011/12 statement of accounts.

The number of teaching staff employed by the council who earned more than £50,000 dropped from 150 to 117, due partly to the number of schools which converted to academies and became autonomous.

A breakdown of the salaries of senior council offices shows that former chief executive Owen Williams was paid £147,000 in each of the past two years and an extra £22,000 towards his pension. He is now the chief executive of the Calderdale and Kirklees NHS Foundation Trust.

The council’s head of finance Pete Smith received £92,000 in salary and allowances, plus a £14,000 pension contribution; economy and environment director Ian Gray received £122,000, plus £19,000 and community services director Robin Tuddenham received £112,000, plus £17,000.

The council’s director of children and young people’s services, Janet Donaldson, whose salary in 2010/11 was £122,000, plus £18,000 pension, was suspended from her role in October 2011 because of problems over social care and safeguarding. The statement of accounts shows that she went on to be paid £65,000 compensation, making her remuneration in 2011/12 a total of £179,000.

The total amount paid in councillors’ allowances in 2011/12 was £689,000 compared to £712,000 the previous year.

For the first time, Calderdale Council has published some details of “exit packages” agreed with its own staff and teaching staff.

The figures include redundancy costs which are paid on exit and consolidated early pension entitlement costs which are borne by the council but where the benefit is paid over the lifetime of the pensioner.

According to the annual accounts, in 2010/11, 202 individuals shared a total of £5,719,000 - including 13 who were paid between £100,000 and £150,000 each.

Last year, 223 individuals shared a total of £3,583,000 - but only one received more than £100,000.