This is how many staff earn over £100,000 at Lancashire County Council

Another half a dozen senior staff at Lancashire County Council have been added to the list of the authority’s employees who earn more than £100,000 a year in pay and benefits.

Thursday, 7th April 2022, 6:31 pm

Seventeen employees crossed that threshold during 2020/21 - up from 11 the previous year - according to data collected by the Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA).

That has pushed the total bill for individuals receiving six-figure sums at County Hall from £1.64m to £2.35m in the space of 12 months.

The authority says that the salaries of its bosses are intended to ensure that the top roles at the organisation are filled by the best people.

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There has been an increase in the number of County Hall staff whose pay and benefits package tops £100,000

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Chief executive and director of resources Angie Ridgwell was handed a basic salary of £222,000 for her dual responsibilities - up £6,000 from a year earlier. According to the TPA, she received no other benefits or pension contributions.

Ms. Ridgwell spent much of 2020/21 as “Gold Command” within the Lancashire Resilience Forum and was responsible for leading the county’s response to the pandemic. She took over the role during the summer after it was initially held by the then deputy chief constable of Lancashire Police, Terry Woods.

The county council’s three executive directors were next on the remuneration list. Education and children’s services boss Edwina Grant received almost £173,000 in basic pay - with no other perks or pension - while the head of adult services and health and wellbeing, Louise Taylor, and growth, environment and transport leader Stephen Young each got £146,000 in salary and almost £24,000 in pension.

Mr. Young left the authority last week to become the chief executive of Halton Council.

Director of public health Dr. Sakthi Karunanithi earned £130,000 and received a pension contribution of £18,000 during the year in which he became a familiar face in the media, fronting campaigns advising residents how to keep themselves and others as safe as possible during the Covid crisis.

His many new duties as a result of the pandemic also saw him dealing with outbreak management, local testing arrangements and advising politicians on issues including when schools should reopen after the first lockdown.

Meanwhile, the directors of strategy and performance, finance, and corporate services received £158,000, £129,000 and almost £127,000 respectively in total packages.

However, nine of the 17 people earning over £100,000 at the authority held positions which were “undisclosed” to the TPA for its annual Town Hall Rich List survey.

Responding to the wage figures, a spokesperson for Lancashire County Council said: "Senior officers’ pay is intended to reflect their responsibilities, skills, and experience and ensure the best people possible are in these key positions.

"This approach and the hard work of officers put the council in a good position to deal with the Covid-19 crisis, ensuring services continued to be delivered to residents despite the pandemic.

"It also means we are now in a very good place as the county continues its recovery to make the best of every opportunity open to the area."