GCC tops pay table

A Glasgow city council employee took home the UK’s largest financial package last year.

The council has also received criticism as a total of 25 members of staff took home more than £100,000 in 2010-2011.

Research by the Taxpayers Alliance (TPA) identifies GCC’s former executive director of special projects as the UK’s top council earnerwith his redundancy package topping up his £168,320 salary, Ian Drummond’s earnings totalled £450628 last year.

Chief executive George Black currently earns the most of any council worker in Scotland, with a package totalling £217, 419.

Glasgow were 16th in the UK league table of payments and first in Scotland.

James Dornan, MSP for Glasgow Cathcart and former leader of the SNP council group criticised what he describe as the “culture of greed”.

He told The Extra: “Glasgow is the only council to use personalisation to make such drastic cuts in funding to those most in need of care, whilst at the same time spending all this council tax payers money on pay-offs. It’s disgusting”.

However, a council spokesman defended figures, which he stated have been artificially inflated by redundancy payments the council was forced to make.

He said: “With local government facing unprecedented cuts, we simply cannot sustain the number of staff we once had.

“If the TPA was genuinely interested in public finances, it would realise that these are not simply normal salary costs.

“They include a redundancy deal that will save the public purse £45 million every year”.

Langside Labour councillor Archie Graham added: “The council saves £45 million pounds every year with its voluntary severance package.

“The alternative is brutal cuts to frontline services”.

Glasgow was the only Scottish authority in the top 20 largest remuneration packages with four entries, all including redundancy payments.

Around 2,600 staff from the total workforce of 18,000, excluding teachers, agreed to leave the authority over three years.

n A total of eight East Renfrewshire employees earned more than the £100,000 threshold in last year, one less than in 2009-2010.

An ERC council spokesman said: “All of our corporate management team salaries are published on the council website and are available for any resident to see at any time.”

Chief Executive Lorraine McMillan is ERC’s top earner, taking home £123,257 last year.

Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “As millions of voters across the country prepare for local council elections, it is vital that they can make an informed choice about which local authorities are delivering value for money.

“The Town Hall Rich List shows that while councils insist cuts can only mean pressure on frontline services, some clearly have cash in the bank when it comes to paying their own senior staff.”