Top 40 council staff cost £2.3m

PUBLISHED: 04:52 27 July 2006 | UPDATED: 09:39 24 May 2010

THE 40 highest paid officers at North Somerset Council cost the taxpayer a staggering £2.34million a year. And council salaries have risen by a total of £12million in the last year

THE 40 highest paid officers at North Somerset Council cost the taxpayer a staggering £2.34million a year.And council salaries have risen by a total of £12million in the last year.Figures obtained by the Weston & Somerset Mercury show that in 2004/05 only 28 council staff were paid over £50,000. But in 2005/06 that number has risen to 40, with the top earner getting a pay rise of at least £20,000 to a massive salary of between £110,000-119,000.Senior Citizens' Forum chairman Ken Lacey is shocked by the news saying council services have not improved enough to warrant such 'fat-cat salaries'.The figures were found in the council's statement of accounts, which is currently available for members of the public to look at.Mr Lacey says the real injustice is that the taxpayer pays the council employees 16.1 per cent pension whereas the employee only contributes 6 per cent.Mr Lacey said: "It basically means council taxpayers pay £2 a week towards council staff pensions."When you realise pensioners only got an increase of £2.40 a week last year it means we're only 40p in hand because we pay so much of someone else's pension."I question whether there have been any improvements for the extra money."We are seeing this huge increase year on year and expansion of staff but virtually no improvement to front line service, in fact they're the first to be cut."Front line services, from cleaning to social services, are the things that improve our lives. I don't think another £12m has improved the lives of anyone in North Somerset at all."North Somerset Council's executive member for people and property Councillor Alan Cotton said: "The council is one of the largest businesses in the area. It pays its managers in accordance with their duties and responsibilities. This level of remuneration is not out of line with neighbouring authorities.

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