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The Local Government Association has hit back at a report showing some 2,000 senior council workers are earning more than £100,000 a year.
An LGA spokesman said the Taxpayers' Alliance research actually showed "salaries for senior officers in local government are continuing to fall".
The spokesman also pointed out that senior managers are responsible for vital "life and limb services" such as child safeguarding and adult social care.
Council staff earning £100,000 or more is "particularly galling" given the cuts faced by many local authorities, the TaxPayers' Alliance have said.
Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the Taxpayer's Alliance said:
Sadly, too many local authorities are still increasing the number of highly paid staff on their payroll.
It's particularly galling in places where councils are pleading poverty and demanding more and more in council tax.
Taxpayers expect their council to be filling potholes, not pay packets.
Many rank-and-file staff in local councils will be equally appalled - at a time when councils across the country are freezing pay, it appears the money they're saving is being used to line the pockets of town hall tycoons.
Glasgow council has been named the local authority with the most members earning £100,000, with 32 staff making it on the TaxPayer's Alliance Town Hall Rich List.
They also found:
- Glasgow Council's then executive director of social care services David Crawford, was the highest paid employee, on a salary of £486,303. This included a redundancy payment.
- The largest remuneration package in London in 2012-13 went to Paul Martin, chief executive of Wandsworth Council, who received £274,224.
Just over 2,000 UK council employees have hit the £100,000 salary bracket, according to a "rich list" published by the TaxPayers' Alliance.
The 2012-13 Town Hall Rich List found 2,181 local authority staff were earning six figures - a 5% drop on the previous year's figure of 2,295.
However, 93 councils increased the number of staff who made more than £100,000 on their payroll during 2012-13.
The list also identified 542 council employees who received remuneration of more than £150,000 in 2012-13. Of these, 34 made more than £250,000 a year.
Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said he welcomed the research, but added: "While it shows the cost of senior town hall pay is falling, there is still far more that local authorities can do to cut costs through consolidation of back offices, sharing services and greater transparency."
Council workers are to be balloted for strikes over pay and will walk out on July 10 if they vote in favour, said the GMB union.
We are in danger of losing entirely some services, with significant reductions right across the board.
This is a false economy which threatens to shunt additional costs onto the reactive parts of the public sector, particularly our hospitals, prisons and welfare system. There are large hidden costs associated with these cuts which will ultimately leave the taxpayer out of pocket ...
It is unfair to our residents to raise the expectation that trimming 43% from council funding will have no impact on the services they receive.
The body that represents councils in England and Wales has warned that cuts to budgets will result in them "prioritising spending on some services at the expense of others".
Services expected to be prioritised include:
- Waste management
Services that could see cuts, or disappear altogether, include:
- Leisure and cultural facilities
- Road repairs
- Home building