Fife Council boss paid more than Prime Minister Theresa May

Fife Council boss Steve Grimmond is paid more than the Prime Minister a new report has revealed.
Fife Council boss Steve Grimmond is paid more than the Prime Minister a new report has revealed.

Fife Council’s top executive earns more than the Prime Minister, a new report into local authority wages has revealed.

Fife Council chief executive Steve Grimmond was topped Fife’s town hall rich list with a remunerations package that netted him £207,190 according to annual listing published by the Taxpayers’ Alliance this week.

What’s more, the council’s most senior employee also received a further £23,508 in his role as returning officer for national and local elections in the region.

The amounts, based on 2016/17 salaries, sees Mr Grimmond considerably ahead of Theresa May who receives £150,000 basic income for her role as Prime Minister of the UK.

Mr Grimmond is one of five executives at Fife Council on salaries of more than £100,000, the head’s of Education and Children’s Services, Finance and Corporate Services, Enterprise and Environment and Communities also receive a six figure salary.

The news of bulging pay packets comes as Fifers face a three per cent increase on council tax bills while cuts to services and departments has seen satisfaction levels for things such as education, bin collections and road repairs fall.

However, Fife Council, Scotland’s third largest local authority, fared well when considered against the likes of North Lanarkshire Council which has Scotland’s highest number of staff earning over £100,000 with 18.

While the single largest remunerations package in Scotland went to Edinburgh’s Finance Director Norman Strachan who pocketed £563,862.

Jacqui Cameron, Fife Council’s HR service manager, said: “Salaries for council chief executives across Scotland are set by COSLA as part of a national collective agreement with the relevant trade unions and representative bodies.

“Fife Council, which has over 17,000 employees, has only 5 members of staff with salaries over £100,000.

“They are the council’s executive team. Their salaries are a matter of public record.”

John O’Connell, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “The average council tax bill has gone up by more than £900 over the last twenty years and spending has gone through the roof.

“Disappointingly, many local authorities are now responding to financial reality through further tax rises and reducing services rather than scaling back top pay.

“Despite many in the public sector facing a much-needed pay freeze to help bring the public finances under control, many town hall bosses are continuing to pocket huge remuneration packages,

“There are talented people in the public sector who are trying to deliver more for less, but the sheer scale of these packages raise serious questions about efficiency and priorities.”

Across Scotland a total of 222 council officers received remuneration packages of £100,000 or more, a reduction of 10 on the previous year.