Town Hall Rich List 2022: Hambleton District Council pays chief executive more than those in Leeds, Doncaster and Hull

The leader of a rural North Yorkshire district council has defended paying its chief executive and four senior officers a total of nearly £90,000 in performance-related pay in 2020-2021.

The £26,535 paid to Dr Justin Ives at Hambleton District Council (HDC) brings his total remuneration, including pension, to £198,111 - higher than the pay packages of the chief executives of Leeds, Doncaster, Hull and Kirklees, according to the TaxPayers Alliance’s annual Town Hall Rich List.

The bonuses paid to Dr Ives, his deputy (£21,935), the TA says, are the highest in the country, with the three others also in the top six. All five receive car allowances.

The council provides services such as waste collection, street cleansing and planning in an area which has a population of 91,000 (2018 figures), while the county council provides adult social care, highways and children’s services.

The headquarters of Hambleton District Council are in Northallerton in North Yorkshire Credit: Google

It is one of seven councils, along with Scarborough and Harrogate, that will cease to exist next year when North Yorkshire Council comes into being.

Leader Mark Robson justified paying the bonuses, a decision he makes with his Cabinet, because they “outperform any other district pretty much in the county”.

As achievements he cited delivering a new crematorium and having the most up-to-date Local Plan in North Yorkshire.

Coun Robson said: “It is something the Cabinet have looked at and have approved in the nine years I have been leader. It is not something new. I would argue that we are the top performing district within North Yorkshire in terms of delivering to our residents.”

Meanwhile Bradford Council’s chief executive Kersten England was paid the most in Yorkshire with total remuneration of £228,350. Nine other staff were on over £100,000.

Second in Yorkshire’s Town Hall Rich List 2022 was Barnsley’s chief executive Sarah Norman, on a pay package of £220,000. Eight others were on more than £100,000.

Damian Allen, Doncaster’s chief executive received a total £197,443, while Kirklees’ Jacqui Gedman was on £195,758.

The council employing the most senior officers on over £100,000 was Leeds with 25. Its chief executive Tom Riordian was on a package worth £185,896.

TA chief executive John O’Connell said the figures gave taxpayers facing a cost of living crisis the chance to “judge town hall bosses for themselves and hold their local councils to account.”

The precept paid by Hambleton residents has risen £5 (6%) to £119.48 for a Band D household. The overall bill includes the county council’s charge (£1,467 for Band D) and also police and fire services.

A council spokesman said: “As part of the Council’s pay policy statement approved every year, the senior management team remuneration package includes an element of performance related pay - this is assessed annually in line with the process set out in the pay policy statement.”