WALTHAM FOREST: Inflation-busting pay rises for council officers revealed

First published in News by

EXECUTIVE council officers are raking in salaries in excess of £100,000, and received inflation busting pay rises despite the economic downturn, a new report reveals.

From the tax year of 2007 to 2008, the seven highest-paid council officers in Waltham Forest received an average of £123,262 - at least four times the salary of other public sector workers.

The figures are revealed by the TaxPayers’ Alliance which, using data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, has published its annual Town Hall Rich List for every local authority in the country.

Overall, the top earners in Waltham Forest are fairly average compared with other authorities and do not exceed £150,000.

However, their total income from the council - which includes basic salary, car allowance, expenses, pension and other benefits - averages £2,370 a week.

In contrast qualified teachers in the borough earn between £25,000 to £35,000.

All of the highest paid executives received an increase in salary between 2006-07 and 2007-08 of more than seven per cent, more than three times the current two per cent government target for growth in pay for ordinary public sector workers.

The director of finance received an increase of almost 20 per cent.

Chingford resident Jean James-Shaw who campaigned to keep the council-owned care home, Walton House, in Chingford, open before the council closed it to make savings said the salaries are “disgusting”.

She said: “We are paying for them to work through our council taxes and we get hardly anything for it and they get so much money.

"They get more than some MPs.

“It is like what is happening with the MPs claiming expenses, it has got out of control.”

Waltham Forest Council did not supply the TaxPayers’ Alliance with a breakdown of the remuneration to show how much of the money was salary, car allowance or pension.

Neighbouring Redbridge Borough Council refused to reveal their executives’ salaries at all.

Policy analyst at the TaxPayers' Alliance Maria Fort said: “The size of council executives’ pay and perks is staggering, and every year the cost continues to rise.

“The fact that executives who have overseen increases in council tax, cuts in services and major policy failures are getting ever more generously rewarded is frustrating for taxpayers who are struggling to make ends meet.

“With bills rising and services stagnating, in too many town halls there is a culture of rewarding failure. Councils must start tightening their belts. We are in a recession and many of these rewards are financially unsustainable and morally indefensible.”

COUNCIL EXECUTIVES' EARNINGS AND SALARY INCREASES

RC Badrinath Executive Director £118,679

Christopher Kiernan executive director £121,546- £131,024 (7.8% rise)

Martin Esom Executive Director £115,134-£130,964 (13.7%)

Margaret Konigsberg Executive Director £116,225- £130,891 (12.6%)

Ian O’Donnell Director of Finance £103,190-£123,071 (19.3%)

Ian Goldsworthy Head of Support Services - £118,201

Satish Mistry Head of Legal & Democratic £106,248- £115,362 (8.6%)

Janet Wickham Dir of People, Policy & Performance £104,154-£113,322 8.8%

Comments (25)

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11:10am Wed 8 Apr 09

Morris Hickey says...

"Neighbouring Redbridge" hides behind a disgraceful cloak of secrecy in this matter. I look foward to the change in the law that will force them to reveal the details.
"Neighbouring Redbridge" hides behind a disgraceful cloak of secrecy in this matter. I look foward to the change in the law that will force them to reveal the details. Morris Hickey
  • Score: 0

11:52am Wed 8 Apr 09

Walthamstow noob says...

Disgusting.

No doubt we'll soon hear the usual excuses trotted out (need to attract the best and brightest, we work really hard, we're actually really good value for money etc...). I doubt they would be on anything like that in the private sector.
Disgusting. No doubt we'll soon hear the usual excuses trotted out (need to attract the best and brightest, we work really hard, we're actually really good value for money etc...). I doubt they would be on anything like that in the private sector. Walthamstow noob
  • Score: 0

12:33pm Wed 8 Apr 09

Walthamstow noob says...

In other news the Irish budget yesterday saw pensions for MPs discontinued, a 10% cut in expenses and a number of Mps have cut their wages by 5-10% also.

"… before we ask anyone else to give, we in this House and in this Government must examine our own costs. Those of us in politics have been entrusted with a great privilege by the people. We must lead by example." - Brian Lenihan - Finance Minister

They get it, but our MPs and public servants are still pigging away at the trough like there's no tomorrow.
In other news the Irish budget yesterday saw pensions for MPs discontinued, a 10% cut in expenses and a number of Mps have cut their wages by 5-10% also. "… before we ask anyone else to give, we in this House and in this Government must examine our own costs. Those of us in politics have been entrusted with a great privilege by the people. We must lead by example." - Brian Lenihan - Finance Minister They get it, but our MPs and public servants are still pigging away at the trough like there's no tomorrow. Walthamstow noob
  • Score: 0

12:45pm Wed 8 Apr 09

LarryTLemur says...

Waltham Forest council officers taking a pay cut? That would be like turkeys voting for Christmas. Like Terry Wheeler would undoubtedly say, it MAY happen, but I wouldn't recommend you hold your breath while you wait. Out in the real world I know plenty of people in banks in the City who have had to take 20% cuts and are waiting for the axe to fall at any time. Some of those people are WF council tax payers so it's good to see the executive officers showing solidarity with the people who pay their wages. I doubt these jokers would be able to hold down a job in a commercial organisation but these increases are beyond the pale particularly when other public sector workers are told they need to show restraint.
Waltham Forest council officers taking a pay cut? That would be like turkeys voting for Christmas. Like Terry Wheeler would undoubtedly say, it MAY happen, but I wouldn't recommend you hold your breath while you wait. Out in the real world I know plenty of people in banks in the City who have had to take 20% cuts and are waiting for the axe to fall at any time. Some of those people are WF council tax payers so it's good to see the executive officers showing solidarity with the people who pay their wages. I doubt these jokers would be able to hold down a job in a commercial organisation but these increases are beyond the pale particularly when other public sector workers are told they need to show restraint. LarryTLemur
  • Score: 0

12:56pm Wed 8 Apr 09

mdj says...

Brentwood Weekly News, March 5th:
Councillors agreed to take a cut of around a third in their allowances (which are about half of Waltham Forest's anyway).
The Council leader said "..it is essential that we lead by example".
Brentwood Weekly News, March 5th: Councillors agreed to take a cut of around a third in their allowances (which are about half of Waltham Forest's anyway). The Council leader said "..it is essential that we lead by example". mdj
  • Score: 0

12:56pm Wed 8 Apr 09

LarryTLemur says...

Please be advised that the first meeting of the local chapter of the Society of Council Under-Achievers & Malingerers will take place at the Town Hall this Friday. That's right, S.C.U.M. are holding their inaugural meeting this Friday.
Please be advised that the first meeting of the local chapter of the Society of Council Under-Achievers & Malingerers will take place at the Town Hall this Friday. That's right, S.C.U.M. are holding their inaugural meeting this Friday. LarryTLemur
  • Score: 0

1:00pm Wed 8 Apr 09

LarryTLemur says...

mdj wrote:
Brentwood Weekly News, March 5th:
Councillors agreed to take a cut of around a third in their allowances (which are about half of Waltham Forest's anyway).
The Council leader said "..it is essential that we lead by example".
But they are councillors. The issue in Waltham Forest is full time executive council officers. It's a small distinction but an important one none the less.
[quote][p][bold]mdj[/bold] wrote: Brentwood Weekly News, March 5th: Councillors agreed to take a cut of around a third in their allowances (which are about half of Waltham Forest's anyway). The Council leader said "..it is essential that we lead by example".[/p][/quote]But they are councillors. The issue in Waltham Forest is full time executive council officers. It's a small distinction but an important one none the less. LarryTLemur
  • Score: 0

1:12pm Wed 8 Apr 09

Pamella says...

How do I get a job like that?
How do I get a job like that? Pamella
  • Score: 0

1:50pm Wed 8 Apr 09

LarryTLemur says...

Pamella wrote:
How do I get a job like that?
Brown nose your way to the top! It also helps if you can say "Yes councillor".
[quote][p][bold]Pamella[/bold] wrote: How do I get a job like that?[/p][/quote]Brown nose your way to the top! It also helps if you can say "Yes councillor". LarryTLemur
  • Score: 0

1:52pm Wed 8 Apr 09

PhilipHerlihy says...

These salaries, which we're told are average among local authorities, are comparable to those of a successful GP.
See:
http://www.nhscareer
s.nhs.uk/details/Def
ault.aspx?Id=553
These salaries, which we're told are average among local authorities, are comparable to those of a successful GP. See: http://www.nhscareer s.nhs.uk/details/Def ault.aspx?Id=553 PhilipHerlihy
  • Score: 0

1:57pm Wed 8 Apr 09

Morris Hickey says...

PhilipHerlihy wrote:
These salaries, which we're told are average among local authorities, are comparable to those of a successful GP. See: http://www.nhscareer s.nhs.uk/details/Def ault.aspx?Id=553
GPs can make me well. Council "executives" make me sick.
[quote][p][bold]PhilipHerlihy[/bold] wrote: These salaries, which we're told are average among local authorities, are comparable to those of a successful GP. See: http://www.nhscareer s.nhs.uk/details/Def ault.aspx?Id=553[/p][/quote]GPs can make me well. Council "executives" make me sick. Morris Hickey
  • Score: 0

3:02pm Wed 8 Apr 09

Heartly says...

Nice one Mo.
Nice one Mo. Heartly
  • Score: 0

3:20pm Wed 8 Apr 09

Techno2 says...

19.3% for a director of Finance, 8.6% for a Head of Legal Services. With so many very highly qualified and experienced people looking for jobs, especially from the Financial Services and industry, what possible argument could there be for paying this kind of an inflation-bustinfg rise to the Director of Finance, or indeed, any of the epople on this list? Cynics will say these kinds of raises are usually only obtained by people who know where the skeletons have been buried. Of course, being public servants, that couldn't be the case, could it? I would expect they are all co-operating fully with all official inquiries going on to bring into the light of public scrutiny all the thefts and mismanagement which have taken place in recent years, even if it inadvertently cost Mr Loakes the spotless reputation he is hoping to take with him into the next election for Parliament. No, that can't be the explanation for these rises at all. I wonder what Mr Laokes has to say about all this?
19.3% for a director of Finance, 8.6% for a Head of Legal Services. With so many very highly qualified and experienced people looking for jobs, especially from the Financial Services and industry, what possible argument could there be for paying this kind of an inflation-bustinfg rise to the Director of Finance, or indeed, any of the epople on this list? Cynics will say these kinds of raises are usually only obtained by people who know where the skeletons have been buried. Of course, being public servants, that couldn't be the case, could it? I would expect they are all co-operating fully with all official inquiries going on to bring into the light of public scrutiny all the thefts and mismanagement which have taken place in recent years, even if it inadvertently cost Mr Loakes the spotless reputation he is hoping to take with him into the next election for Parliament. No, that can't be the explanation for these rises at all. I wonder what Mr Laokes has to say about all this? Techno2
  • Score: 0

3:48pm Wed 8 Apr 09

PhilipHerlihy says...

Morris Hickey wrote:
PhilipHerlihy wrote: These salaries, which we're told are average among local authorities, are comparable to those of a successful GP. See: http://www.nhscareer s.nhs.uk/details/Def ault.aspx?Id=553
GPs can make me well. Council "executives" make me sick.
:-)
[quote][p][bold]Morris Hickey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PhilipHerlihy[/bold] wrote: These salaries, which we're told are average among local authorities, are comparable to those of a successful GP. See: http://www.nhscareer s.nhs.uk/details/Def ault.aspx?Id=553[/p][/quote]GPs can make me well. Council "executives" make me sick.[/p][/quote]:-) PhilipHerlihy
  • Score: 0

4:23pm Wed 8 Apr 09

inézc says...

Kerching - noses in the trough!
Kerching - noses in the trough! inézc
  • Score: 0

4:34pm Wed 8 Apr 09

Touchwood says...

This is nothing short of theft. This Council should be ashamed of itself and, I believe, should be the subject of a police investigation
This is nothing short of theft. This Council should be ashamed of itself and, I believe, should be the subject of a police investigation Touchwood
  • Score: 0

7:10pm Wed 8 Apr 09

livedheretoolong says...

Pamella wrote:
How do I get a job like that?
You won't. It's likely that nearly all council jobs are ring fenced so it's a waste of time applying.
[quote][p][bold]Pamella[/bold] wrote: How do I get a job like that?[/p][/quote]You won't. It's likely that nearly all council jobs are ring fenced so it's a waste of time applying. livedheretoolong
  • Score: 0

7:16pm Wed 8 Apr 09

hotredman says...

RIDICULOUS, no wonder council tax is so high and services are cut down so much. Its to pay for these blasted greedy money hungry vampires.
I blame the labour government and Gordon Brown for allowing this culture to happen.
RIDICULOUS, no wonder council tax is so high and services are cut down so much. Its to pay for these blasted greedy money hungry vampires. I blame the labour government and Gordon Brown for allowing this culture to happen. hotredman
  • Score: 0

9:53pm Wed 8 Apr 09

Brisbane says...

More snouts in the trough at a time when most private sector workers are not getting a pay rise at all (if they're lucky enough to still have a job, that is).
Still, if people insist on voting Labour they can't complain about the consequences.
More snouts in the trough at a time when most private sector workers are not getting a pay rise at all (if they're lucky enough to still have a job, that is). Still, if people insist on voting Labour they can't complain about the consequences. Brisbane
  • Score: 0

11:54pm Wed 8 Apr 09

mdj says...

Dear Mr Lemur,
It's increasingly hard to tell councillors from officials: one of our department heads is a former Council leader, and too many of the Councillors come from a local government or quango background.What is Mr Akram, for example, but a professional fisher in the pond of public funding? In a recent interview, Mr Loakes described how he got rid of officials who weren't signed up to his 'plan', and promoted others who were, in complete disregard of the supposed neutral stance of officers. One of those disposed of was the former Chief exceutive, who we were told at the time had left for 'personal reasons'. Mr £130k Kiernan told me he was one of those who advised on the employment of Mr Morton, so that's ok. Five senior officials have been questioned under police caution about the BNI 'missing' funds, but we aren't allowed to know which ones. Mr Loakes denies that any wrongdoing took place, but blames officials for it, whatever it wasn't!
And don't forget that the first thing our new Council did was to vote up their pay by 30%: every call for sacrifice has to be seen in that light.
Dear Mr Lemur, It's increasingly hard to tell councillors from officials: one of our department heads is a former Council leader, and too many of the Councillors come from a local government or quango background.What is Mr Akram, for example, but a professional fisher in the pond of public funding? In a recent interview, Mr Loakes described how he got rid of officials who weren't signed up to his 'plan', and promoted others who were, in complete disregard of the supposed neutral stance of officers. One of those disposed of was the former Chief exceutive, who we were told at the time had left for 'personal reasons'. Mr £130k Kiernan told me he was one of those who advised on the employment of Mr Morton, so that's ok. Five senior officials have been questioned under police caution about the BNI 'missing' funds, but we aren't allowed to know which ones. Mr Loakes denies that any wrongdoing took place, but blames officials for it, whatever it wasn't! And don't forget that the first thing our new Council did was to vote up their pay by 30%: every call for sacrifice has to be seen in that light. mdj
  • Score: 0

7:54am Thu 9 Apr 09

jack de large says...

LarryTLemur wrote, "Brown nose your way to the top! It also helps if you can say "Yes councillor"."

I think it probably helps more to say "Yes Councillor Loakes/Maklin", at the very least you'll keep your job
LarryTLemur wrote, "Brown nose your way to the top! It also helps if you can say "Yes councillor"." I think it probably helps more to say "Yes Councillor Loakes/Maklin", at the very least you'll keep your job jack de large
  • Score: 0

9:39am Thu 9 Apr 09

LarryTLemur says...

jack de large wrote:
LarryTLemur wrote, "Brown nose your way to the top! It also helps if you can say "Yes councillor"."

I think it probably helps more to say "Yes Councillor Loakes/Maklin", at the very least you'll keep your job
Just another day in the life of Waltham Forest. If it didn't exist already, someone would have to invent it, although nobody would believe it was true! Someone once said life is stranger than fiction. I think it was Joe Jackson on Laughter & **** (1991).
[quote][p][bold]jack de large[/bold] wrote: LarryTLemur wrote, "Brown nose your way to the top! It also helps if you can say "Yes councillor"." I think it probably helps more to say "Yes Councillor Loakes/Maklin", at the very least you'll keep your job[/p][/quote]Just another day in the life of Waltham Forest. If it didn't exist already, someone would have to invent it, although nobody would believe it was true! Someone once said life is stranger than fiction. I think it was Joe Jackson on Laughter & **** (1991). LarryTLemur
  • Score: 0

10:43am Thu 9 Apr 09

robo34 says...

in westminster you can rent a furnished flat for £18000 per year! why can they clame upto £70.000 for a second home? we get a 0% pay rise and they get 12 i know what they are saying IME ALLRIGHT JACK
in westminster you can rent a furnished flat for £18000 per year! why can they clame upto £70.000 for a second home? we get a 0% pay rise and they get 12 i know what they are saying IME ALLRIGHT JACK robo34
  • Score: 0

11:13am Thu 9 Apr 09

LarryTLemur says...

LarryTLemur wrote:
jack de large wrote:
LarryTLemur wrote, "Brown nose your way to the top! It also helps if you can say "Yes councillor"."

I think it probably helps more to say "Yes Councillor Loakes/Maklin", at the very least you'll keep your job
Just another day in the life of Waltham Forest. If it didn't exist already, someone would have to invent it, although nobody would believe it was true! Someone once said life is stranger than fiction. I think it was Joe Jackson on Laughter & **** (1991).
Big Brother has censored me :-)

The second part of the title was L U S T
[quote][p][bold]LarryTLemur[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jack de large[/bold] wrote: LarryTLemur wrote, "Brown nose your way to the top! It also helps if you can say "Yes councillor"." I think it probably helps more to say "Yes Councillor Loakes/Maklin", at the very least you'll keep your job[/p][/quote]Just another day in the life of Waltham Forest. If it didn't exist already, someone would have to invent it, although nobody would believe it was true! Someone once said life is stranger than fiction. I think it was Joe Jackson on Laughter & **** (1991).[/p][/quote]Big Brother has censored me :-) The second part of the title was L U S T LarryTLemur
  • Score: 0

12:27pm Fri 10 Apr 09

isb61 says...

clearly a poorly thought out policy, many private sector companies are having pay freezes/cuts, the amount of people now losing their jobs will cut the amount of council tax collected, the public workers already have pensions deficits we can't afford to pay for both
clearly a poorly thought out policy, many private sector companies are having pay freezes/cuts, the amount of people now losing their jobs will cut the amount of council tax collected, the public workers already have pensions deficits we can't afford to pay for both isb61
  • Score: 0

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