Bedfordshire council chiefs’ pay under the spotlight in ‘Rich List’

Bedford Borough Council CEO, Laura Church. Image: Bedford Borough Council
Bedford Borough Council CEO, Laura Church. Image: Bedford Borough Council

Bedfordshire’s top council officers’ salaries have been published in the latest TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) Town Hall Rich List.

The three council’s chief executives (Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire and Luton Council) are paid between £171k and £206k, which rises to £244k when employer pension contributions are included.

But councils have said that they are “complex” organisations and the corporate leadership requires pay that reflects the “skills and experience needed”.

In a statement posted on TPA’s website (9 April), chief executive John O’Connell said: “The new financial year has seen council tax soar across the country, and taxpayers will notice that top brass pay has simultaneously surged.

“Local authorities provide crucial services and residents will want to make sure they are getting bang for their buck with their ever-increasing bills.

“Residents can use these figures to ask whether precious funds are really going towards frontline services, or whether town hall bosses can get better value for money,” he said.

A Bedford Borough spokesperson said: “Pay, terms and conditions of employment for certain directors and senior managers is determined by the democratically elected members.

“The pay is set in the pay policy which is considered by GP Committee and then referred to Full Council.

“The council’s pay statement was recently agreed by Full Council.

“Bedford Borough Council is a complex organisation with over 2,500 staff, providing hundreds of vital services being delivered to over 187,000 residents and a budget of £370 million.

“The skills and experience needed for all our corporate leadership are reflected in their pay.”

by John Guinn
Local Democracy Reporter

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