Bumper pay at Brent town hall revealed

Eight top officers earn more than the Prime Minister -despite unprecedented cuts to town hall budgets

The town hall boss in charge of wielding the axe in the first stage of council cuts received a pay rise of nearly a fifth in one year.

According to new figures obtained by the Tax Payers Alliance campaign group, Graham Ellis, the former director of business transformation, netted �160,349 in 2009/10 – 19 per cent more than his annualised salary in 2008/9.

Mr Ellis enjoyed the buffer pay, which includes employer pension contributions, while overseeing Brent’s ‘one council’ agenda, which set out plans to cut one in ten town hall employees in a bid to save �50milloin by 2014. That figure has now been doubled to �100m by 2015.

Meanwhile, eight officers last year took home more than the Prime Minister David Cameron – who earns �142,500.

Among them is Gareth Daniel, Brent Council’s chief executive, who netted �249,884 in 2009/10 – three per cent less than in 2008/9.

Unison, the largest public sector trade union, attacked the high rates of officer pay, which it said was unacceptable at a time where ordinary council employees were receiving redundancy letters.

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Around 400 town hall staff have been made redundant since 2009. Mladen Maric, assistant Brent branch secretary, called for top earning officers to take a drop in pay while council cuts are being made.

He said: “In the current climate when people are losing jobs and having to accept pay cuts, it is hard to have sympathy with these people

“I work in Brent’s One Stop Service and on a daily basis, whether it is serving Brent residents or representing my union members, I see the devastating impact of the cuts.

“They are ruining lives. Peoples’ homes are at risk, and more and more people are destitute and homeless.

“Are these people worth seven times the rest of us? I doubt that very much.”

Matthew Sinclair, director, of The TaxPayers’ Alliance: “It is crucial that some of these senior council executives set an example and ensure they have the moral authority to lead spending cuts by taking a pay cut themselves.”

A council spokesman:

A Brent Council spokesman said: “The figures provided by TPA are misleading and inconsistent. The accurate salaries of senior officers are published on our website for public scrutiny.”