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Our councils are paying hundreds of their employees over £50,000 a year, and some campaigners say that's just too much. With councils cutting services, can the salaries be justified? Tom Savvides reports.
The Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis has backed the Taxpayers Alliance. He says it's essential that councils get a grip on pay to ensure a fair deal for the taxpayers in their counties and in their districts.
He says local councils still have massive scope to cut costs to protect front line
services, and that the Local Government pay juggernaut must be halted.
Cllr Roger Gough has hit back at accusations that his county council is wasteful. He told ITV News Meridian that as the second largest council in the UK, his organisation pays only what is proportionate.
Kent County Council says it considers it pays its managers the going rate for the job. It adds that it has managed to reduce its overall salary bill. And it says that it has held council tax payments down to 0% this year. It was responding to a Taxpayers' Alliance report.
Kent County Council is one of several councils in the south east accused of paying too many managers high salaries. The Taxpayers' Alliance says it employs 491 managers on wages of £50,000+. But Kent points out that it has reduced the overall bill for its employees, and has not raised council tax.
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Hampshire County Council leader Ken Thornber defends his authority, after TaxPayers Alliance criticises number of staff paid £50,000+.