NINETEEN council chiefs earning six-figure pay packets have featured on a 'Town Hall Rich List', says a pressure group.

At a time when bills have continued to rise during the cost of living crisis, The TaxPayers Alliance group has published the list of top earners at local authorities across UK councils.

The dataset is the 17th edition of the Tax Payers' Alliance research, and despite the financial struggles facing many local authorities, the number of council employees, nationally, receiving more than £100,000 in remuneration packages has risen to the highest level since 2013-14.

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Councils facing economic pressures

Many councils have pointed out that 14 years of austerity cuts from the government have resulted in a decline in council services and rising council tax bills.

Council tax was increased by another 4.99 percent this year and the council often looks at ways how it can generate income streams to fund services and balance its budget.

Despite these financial difficulties, the TaxPayers' Alliance list shows that 19 employees at Wigan Council earned remuneration packages worth more than £100,000 between 2022 and 2023.

Total remuneration includes, but is not limited to, salary, benefits, expenses, bonuses, any stated election duty fees, redundancy payments and employer’s pension contributions.

19 employees earning over £100k

The highest paid employee at Wigan Council is the Chief Executive, Alison McKenzie-Folan, who earned a base salary of £193k from 2022-23.

Mrs McKenzie-Folan's full pay packet was topped up to £231,311 following pension contributions.

Other reported names include Director of Children's Services, Colette Dutton, on a pay packet of £183k, Director of Adult Social Care and Health Stuart Cowley, on a pay packet of £182k, and Director of Transformation Sonia Halliwell, on a pay packet of £158k.

Director of Economy and Skills Aiden Thatcher was on a remuneration package of £158k, Director of Environment Paul Barton on £158k, Deputy Chief Executive Paul McKevitt on £153k, and Director of Digital Services and Integration James Winterbottom on £132k.

The rest of the list is only reported as 'undisclosed' names, although it does report that these financial packages ranged between £167,500 to £102,500.

None of the list includes elected councillors, who are not paid a salary but are entitled to compensation packages that include allowance and expenses.

Wigan Council said that it would not be commenting on the figures, but stated that information about council salaries is published in the Council’s Pay Policy, included in the Annual Full Council papers each year.