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Cornwall's £100,000 Earners Revealed

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Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 7:01am 25th April 2012

It is claimed eleven people at Cornwall Council are earning more than £100,000 a year.

The Taxpayers Alliance says that includes pension contributions, fees and relocation expenses.

Chief Executive Matthew Elliott said, "Taxpayers will be astonished that so many council employees are still getting such a generous deal while everyone else in the public sector is facing a pay freeze. These council executives must ensure they have the moral authority to lead necessary spending cuts, in many cases that will mean taking a pay cut themselves. Households have seen their Council Tax bills double over the last decade and deserve better value."

Cornwall's Chief Executive Kevin Lavery took a voluntary 5% pay cut in 2010, which remains in place. But the campaign group claims  he still earned £245,342 last year.

County Hall disputes the figures, insisting that there are only seven people earning more than £100,000 and those include teachers.

Officials did not wish to be interviewed but released a statement. It said, "The Council is committed to delivering value for money for council tax payers in Cornwall and has significantly reduced its management structure since becoming a unitary council in 2009. Over the past twelve months there have been further reductions in the number of senior managers, which has seen the number of Cornwall Council staff earning more than £100,000 reduce to seven. All Cornwall Council staff have been subject to a pay freeze for the past two years.

"Cornwall Council is one of the largest unitary councils in England with a budget of £1.2 billion and a workforce of more than 18,000 staff delivering a wide range of services to the people of Cornwall. The salary level for the Chief Executive, which was set by the previous County Council, and other senior employees is in line with the salary levels paid by other similar councils across the country and is substantially below the level of remuneration for a similar role in the private sector.

"We are, however, aware of the concerns of local residents over the issue of salary levels and are committed to delivering further efficiency savings over the coming twelve months."

Heather Wakefield, UNISON head of local government, said, “In its bid to undermine public trust in public spending and public services, the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance has taken far too simplistic a look at a complex issue.

“It is deeply unfair for low paid council workers to be hit with a three year pay freeze whilst bosses and senior managers see their pay rise by up to 50%. Two thirds of local government workers earn less than £21,000 and are struggling as three years of frozen pay hits hard. This unjust pay policy has to end – local government workers and their families cannot take any more.

“But attacking top pay will not help taxpayers, including council workers. For councils to attract the best calibre of leaders, they need to pay the going rate.”

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