Camden Council insist ‘rich list’ findings are inaccurate

Camden Town Hall

Camden Town Hall - Credit: Archant

Bosses at Camden Council say a list which claims the local authority has the highest number of staff earning more than £100,000 in the country is inaccurate and should be withdrawn.

The TaxPayers’ Alliance published its annual Town Hall Rich List last week. It showed 40 senior officers at Camden Council received more than £100,000 in 2011/12.

The list includes the chief executive on a basic salary of £140,000 plus £32,000 in pension contributions and other payments.

The list states the highest paid council officer was the director of culture and environment.

They were paid £154,000 plus £28,000 in pension and benefit payments.

At Haringey Council, 14 senior officers earned more than £100,000 and at Islington Council the total was 20.

However, Camden’s finance chief, Cllr Theo Blackwell, said the list was inaccurate and the true number of staff earning salaries of £100,000-plus was 16.

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Camden Council say the list is misleading because it includes staff who left the local authority during the year, while some of the figures have been double counted from statement of accounts.

After publication of the list, Cllr Blackwell and chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, Matthew Sinclair, appeared on ITV’s Daybreak to debate the figures.

Speaking to the Ham&High, Cllr Blackwell accused the TaxPayers’ Alliance of “poor research” and of being funded by “pro-private sector outfits and have an axe to grind against the public sector”.

Mr Sinclair said: “Our calculations of the remuneration for senior staff at Camden Council are based entirely on the accounts as published by the council.

“If councillors are questioning the veracity of the figures, then they are questioning the veracity of their own accounts, which they are legally obliged to publish as an accurate statement of their finances.”