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Council report on staff pay shows difference in salaries between lowest earners and its senior officer

16 May 2024 3 minute read
County Hall in Ruthin, Denbighshire

Richard Evans Local Democracy Reporter

A council report on staff pay shows the difference in salaries between a council’s lowest earners and its senior officers.

The report was published before a discussion on Denbighshire’s pay policy, which outlines who in the council – excluding teaching staff – is paid and how much.

The Localism Act 2011 requires local authorities to prepare pay policy statements every year. These statements must show an authority’s policies relating to the pay of its workforce, particularly its senior staff, chief officers, and lowest paid employees.

Report backed

Pay policy statements must be approved by the council on an annual basis and published on the website. At a meeting this week, the council agreed to back the report.

But whilst this year’s pay increases are yet to be agreed, figures set in April 2023 show Denbighshire’s lowest paid grade-one employees earn £22,366 based on a 37-hour week, or £11.36 an hour.

This compares to the highest paid grade-14 officers earning £62,725, or £32.51 an hour. But the chief executive’s pay scale is considerably higher again, ranging from £140,929 – £145,192.

Directors’ salaries range from £114,792 – £118,254 with heads of service salaries ranging from £77.839 – £80,166 and £94.846 – £97,327 in the next tier.

The report says the council ‘faces significant financial challenges’ with costs in 2024/25 increasing by £24.5m.

The funding gap was met by increasing council tax, cutting services, and making savings, but the council is forecasting similar shortfalls in funds for the next few years.

“Teams are getting smaller”

Speaking at the meeting chief executive Graham Boase said Denbighshire staff couldn’t be expected to produce the same amount of work, given cuts to various job roles.

“It needs to be clear to all members and members of the public, you know, if we’ve got a team of six doing work and that team of six reduces because of a redundancy, or if we don’t fill a gap and someone moves on, and we decide not to fill that vacancy, and that team of six becomes a team of five, we can’t expect that team of five to do the work of a team of six,” he said.

“So something is going to have to give somewhere along the line, and that might mean something isn’t done or takes longer to be done or we do something in a slightly different way.”

He added: “And that’s something we are going to have to adapt to a little bit in terms of expectations about what we can do, given that the size of some of our teams are getting smaller, in order to respond to the financial pressures we are under.”

According to the report, whilst the pay policy is up to date in terms of national pay awards for 2023/24, no agreement has been reached for 2024/25.

Denbighshire claims the pay structures for 2024/25 will be amended in the report once they are agreed nationally.


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