Essex Council officers among highest paid in the country
FIGURES reveal that Essex County Council has two of the highest paid officials of any local authority in England and Wales.
Chief executive Joanna Killian is listed in the figures, compiled by the Incomes Data Services company, as earning �237,000 a year – the third highest paid council chief overall.
Meanwhile Essex’s director of finance and transformation James Bell is the fourth highest paid officer, earning �195,600 a year.
In October Ms Killian, who is also the chief executive of Brentwood Borough Council, agreed to take a 5 per cent pay cut to her salary, reducing it to �225,000 a year.
On the same set of figures, her new salary would still leave her as the joint third highest paid chief executive in the country.
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Nalin Cooke, regional organiser for the Unison public sector union, said: “For us it’s one of the most frustrating things is when they talk about everyone being in this together and you keep on seeing these kinds of figures.
“Day in and day out I’m dealing with redundancies among staff, and cuts to services. A five per cent cut is not comparable at all to ordinary workers who are on �15,000 or �16,000 a year.”
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Essex County Council leader Cllr Peter Martin (Con) said: “Essex County Council is a �2.22billion operation, serving our 1.6 million residents every day.
“The chief executive is currently overseeing the largest value for money programme of any council in the history of local government, equating to a third of our annual net budget.
“We have delivered �190m savings over the last four years. All councils in Essex are working hard to drive costs down while maintaining frontline services and we will continue to work with our district partners such as in Brentwood to see where we can share human and financial resources more efficiently and promote joint working.”
Brentwood South County Cllr David Kendall (LibDem) said: “I think the 5 per cent pay cut was a step in the right direction. Although she’s a very capable and professional lady I still think it’s way too much and I would personally like to see more action taken.”
Cabinet members at last week’s Essex County Council budget setting meeting last week agreed to freeze council tax in the next financial year. The propsed budget will be put to the full council on February 22.