Disgrace

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It has been announced that the Basildon Council Chief Executive is earning a massive £265,398 a year.

With huge cuts being made to local councils in the last few years the latest Town Hall rich list from the Taxpayers Alliance has come at quite a shock in the Essex community.

More than 100 council employees across Essex earned over £100,000 in 2017/18, according to the report.

A former Basildon council worker said: “This is a disgrace especially in these troubled times with a knife crime epidemic, less police and the council closing libraries so our youngsters have nowhere to develop their reading.

“I appreciate their job is difficult and they work long hours but surely they can earn slightly less to give local policing and local health trusts more money.

“Its like the saying goes, the rich get richer and the poorer get poorer.”

The next biggest earner in Essex is the Chief Executive of Essex County Council (ECC) reportedly earning £236,849 a year.

The total earnings take into account salary, expenses, bonuses, compensation, pension and ‘others’.

A spokesman from Essex County Council said: “The number of staff earning £100,000 had fallen by nearly a quarter since 2018 and all salaries were subject to independent review and over the past seven years, we’ve transformed the council so that we can continue to improve and deliver the services people need.”

In the report it was said that the local authority with the greatest number of employees receiving remuneration in excess of £100,000 was Essex council with 55 employees in total earning over this amount.

Essex also had the highest number of employees earning over £150,000 at 13.
ECC is one of the largest local authorities in England and the largest in the East of England.

John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “The average council tax bill has gone up by more than £900 over the last 20 years and spending has gone through the roof.

“Disappointingly, many local authorities are now responding to financial reality through further tax rises and reducing services rather than scaling back top pay of their highest earners.

“Despite many in the public sector facing a much-needed pay freeze to help bring the public finances under control, many town hall bosses are continuing to pocket huge remuneration packages, expenses, along with staggering pay-outs for those leaving their jobs.

“There are talented people in the public sector who are trying to deliver more for less.

“However the sheer scale of these packages raise serious questions about efficiency and priorities.”

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