Councils to name staff earning in excess of £58,000

HUNDREDS of council workers in the region who earn more than £58,000 will have to be named under a fresh Government bid to increase town hall transparency,

Local authorities will also be expected to publish information on licensing, contracts or tenders, and councillors’ expenses under a new code published yesterday,

Councils are already required to reveal how many employees earn more than £50,000 and name those earnings over £150,000, but the new code will require them to publish names and responsibilities of all staff paid more than £58,200.

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Hundreds of staff across the region will be affected, with the accounts for Leeds City Council -Yorkshire’s biggest local authority – revealing it had nine staff earning more than £150,000 in 2009/10 and another 192 officials and 194 teachers on at least £55,000.

The salary level was chosen because it is the lowest senior civil service pay band.

Meanwhile, Bradford City Council will today become the region’s last town hall to put details of all spending over £500 online after Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles yesterday named it as one of eight authorities who had not yet done so.

Mr Pickles said: “The taxpayer has a right to look under the bonnet of their town hall and see what decisions are being made on their behalf and where their money is being spent.

“I asked all councils to put online everything they spend over £500 and I commend the majority have had the good sense to lead this transformation in transparency. Today I’m publishing a new code that will help decipher the town hall maze of middle management, bringing more public information to light. This will also give the few remaining refuseniks a clear game plan to follow.

“Transparency must be the underlying principle behind everything councils do. Every aspect of council business should be open to public scrutiny including senior pay, councillor expenses, local services and voluntary sector funding. This can help save money in tough times, protecting the frontline by cutting waste and unnecessary costs.”