10 employees at Rochdale Council earn more than £100,000 per year

Date published: 30 April 2021

Ten members of staff at Rochdale Borough Council are being paid more than £100,000 per year – the third highest in Greater Manchester.

Campaigners The Tax Payers’ Alliance, who are pushing for a low-tax society, has released its annual ‘Town Hall Rich List’ for the 2019-20 financial year – although councils more often than not also list their staff’s pay on their websites.

In the list, all of the staff within Greater Manchester’s 10 borough councils who are paid a substantial wage from public money are listed.

Funded by the tax payer, each staff member (some named, some not) has their basic salary listed, as well as their expenses claims for the last financial year and any pension contributions.

Then, their total take-home pay before tax with all of these elements added together, known as total remuneration, is shown.

Rochdale has 10 members of staff that took home a total remuneration of more than £100,000 in the 2019-20 financial year, including the chief executive who earned £166,000:

  • Steve Rumbelow, chief executive - £166,000
  • Gail Hopper, director of children's services - £153,000
  • Neil Thornton, director of resources - £152,000
  • Claire Richardson, director of integrated commissioning and adult care - £149,000
  • 'Undisclosed' - £142,500
  • Mark Widdup, director of neighbourhoods - £138,000
  • John Searle, director of economy - £137,000
  • 'Undisclosed' - £122,500
  • Andrea Fallon, director of public health - £115,000
  • Monitoring officer - £100,000

The Tax Payers’ Alliance also named a managing director at the authority who was also thought to be earning £134,787 a year, but a council spokesperson said they ‘did not recognise’ this role within their staff.

In addition to his role as Chief Executive of Rochdale Borough Council, Steve Rumbelow is also paid between £45k and £50k for his role as the Accountable Officer for the local Clinical Commissioning Group which he took on in July 2018, meaning he has overall responsibility for the commissioning of NHS services for patients in the borough.

A spokesman for Rochdale Council said: “Details of our senior management pay is published in our annual pay policy statement. Grades of all senior posts are subject to regular review and bench-marking to ensure value for money and competitiveness.

“These senior posts carry significant statutory responsibility and that is reflected in the salaries paid by councils across the UK. Our residents quite rightly expect value for money but they also expect us to recruit and retain suitably qualified and experienced staff to these vital roles.

“We have also increased our local living wage so hundreds of our lowest paid staff have received another pay rise – above the government’s national living wage rate.”

John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Taxpayers facing huge and hated council tax rises want to know they are getting value for money from their local authority leadership.

“At the onset of the coronavirus crisis, thousands of town hall officials were taking home huge sums. While councils were plunged into tackling the pandemic, many staff will have more than earned their keep, but households have nevertheless struggled with enormous and unpopular council tax rises.

“These figures shine a light on the town hall bosses who’ve got it right, and will enable residents to hold those who aren’t delivering value for money to account.”

Alice Richardson, Local Democracy Reporter

Additional reporting: Rochdale Online News

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