Kent County Council paid 20 employees more than £100,000 in a year

County Hall, seat of Kent County Council, in Maidstone

Twenty senior managers at Kent County Council received more than £100,000 in annual pay and pension contributions, according to research published this week.

The TaxPayers’ Alliance has learned that in the 2016/17 financial year, KCC’s director of business and strategy support David Cockburn received £243,000.

Andrew Ireland, its director of families and social care, received £229,000 while for director of education and skills Patrick Leeson the figure is £206,500.

Canterbury City Council has four employees in the £100,000+ threshold. Chief executive Colin Carmichael received £113,000 with a £16,000 pension contribution.

The deputy chief executive received £122,000, the chief financial officer £113,000 and the head of legal services £112,000.

Colin Carmichael, council chief exec

Those currently holding the positions below the chief executive have changed since the time of 2016/17 figures, the most recent data available.

But the authority says it has been able to make a 15% reduction in senior management costs.

Head of communications Leo Whitlock told the Canterbury Journal: “We reduced the overall cost of our senior managers by 15% in February which is a reflection of a 15% cut in our costs overall.

“The number of senior directors was cut by half and the work of our head of strategy has been taken on by other senior managers.

“We have always been prudent with council taxpayers’ money but we still have to be competitive to attract the type of talented people who can deliver and improve high-quality services while having less and less money and fewer staff available to them.”

Last week the TaxPayers’ Alliance published its Town Hall Rich List, a survey of salaries, pension contributions and other remunerations paid to those running local authorities in the UK.

It found that 2,300 individuals received pay and contributions of more than £100,000 in 2016/17.

The chief executive of Birmingham City Council received £666,600 while two executives at Bournemouth Council took home a combined figure of £1,050,000 for the year.

Jan Zeber, of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, explained why the organisation publishes the figures: “We need some way of ensuring that public sector pay is not arbitrary and at least to some extent linked to performance.

“The reason why those figures are publicly available in the first place is to replace economic pressure of the bottom line with political pressure of the public gaze.

“And just like the former, it is a two-way street. Good business performance eases the hold on wages by the virtue of creating more slack in the balance sheet.

“Likewise, good council performance eases the political pressure on wages by making higher council salaries politically acceptable.

“Except that very few people have the time and will to trawl through the accounts of their local authority to obtain it, which creates an accountability issue. The Town Hall Rich List is an attempt to fix that.”



  1. “Good business performance” has meant slashing support to vital services including those supporting the most vulnerable such as children and young people, mental health and domestic abuse services, the elderly, the unwell and the financially disadvantaged.

    And yet the argument is made that high salaries need to be paid to executives capable of making such changes… presumably those attracted to less well paid roles are more troubled by conscience and therefore deemed less ‘effective’? There’s something seriously wrong when exorbitant rates of pay are justified this way.


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