According to its draft accounts for 2016-17 Thanet Council employs 5 officers who earn more than £100k per year. The total cost to taxpayers for employing these officers is £597,050. Here’s the breakdown post by post. The salary bill is inclusive of employer pension contributions.
I’ve checked the draft 2016-17 accounts of our neighbouring East Kent councils: Ashford, Canterbury, Dover and Shepway to see how many officers they employ on salaries of £100k or more including employer pensions. I have set out the results in the table below. The comparison reveals that TDC employs 5 officers on more than £100k, whilst Dover, Canterbury and Shepway employ 4 and Ashford 3. TDCs annual cost for employing 5 £100,000 plus staff is £597,050 that’s £116,063 more than the nearest comparator Shepway which has an annual cost of £480,987 for employing 4 staff on salaries of over £100,000.
Each of the 5 East Kent Councils are of similar population sizes and provide identical services. Indeed some of the services such as Human Resources , Housing and IT are shared between the 5 councils. So why should there be such large discrepancies in the top officer pay bills? And why should Thanet, the most deprived of the 5 East Kent Council’s with the highest unemployment and the lowest average wages, be employing the largest number of £100k plus officers? These discrepancies don’t appear to make any sense and I have been unable to discover a logical explanation.
Being top of the East Kent councils fatcat pay league is all the more mysterious when its borne in mind that TDC is run by UKIP. This is a party which in its 2015 election manifesto proudly boasted that it would “Slash excessive pay deals and golden handshakes for council executives” and “Limit the number of highly-paid council employees”. Clearly Thanet Council’s UKIP Leader, Chris Wells has reneged on this election promise, just has he reneged on UKIPs manifesto pledge to end expensive council car parking. Its clear that UKIP and Chris Wells cannot be trusted to keep their promises to voters and this probably explains why they were wiped out in recent County Council elections.
Former Chancellor George Osbourne recently described Prime Minster Theresa May as a dead woman walking. I’m think the same description applies to TDC Council Leader Chris Wells.