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Town hall chiefs top PM in rich list

PUBLISHED: 15:46 03 April 2008 | UPDATED: 09:38 23 August 2010

REFUSAL: Gravesham chief executive Glynn Thomson refused to disclose his earnings.

REFUSAL: Gravesham chief executive Glynn Thomson refused to disclose his earnings.

A COUNCIL boss makes more money than the Prime Minister, a report investigating the salaries of senior local authority employees has found. The report published last Friday by the Tax Payer s Alliance (TPA) named Kent County Council s (KCC) Peter Gilroy

A COUNCIL boss makes more money than the Prime Minister, a report investigating the salaries of senior local authority employees has found.

The report published last Friday by the Tax Payer's Alliance (TPA) named Kent County Council's (KCC) Peter Gilroy as the third most highly-paid local authority chief executive in the UK with an annual salary of £207, 000, nearly £20,000 more than Gordon Brown.

The report, entitled The Town Hall Rich List, was compiled from freedom of information requests asking each of the UK's 450 councils to list the salaries of their most highly paid employees.

Alex King, deputy leader for KCC, said: "The chief executive, Peter Gilroy, manages the biggest shire authority in the country which remains consistently excellent as independently defined by the Audit Commission, with an annual budget of £1.8 billion and over 40,000 staff.

"He receives no company car, health insurance, mortgage relief or any other fringe benefit."

However, Gravesham Council refused to answer the freedom of information request for information on the current chief executive, Glynn Thomson.

In a similar investigation carried out last year, the TPA found that the previous chief executive, Jim Wintour, earned £93,685 a year.

A Gravesham Council spokesperson said: "As a general rule the council believes that officer's salaries are a data protection issue and we do not reveal individual officer's salaries without their consent. We are not obliged to answer questions about officer's salaries and don't as a matter of course."

Ben Farrugia, policy analyst at the TPA, said: "Some local government executives still feel that what they're paid is not the taxpayer's business.

"But with council tax bills now tipping many families over the edge, it is more important than ever that councils are open and transparent about their costs.

"Council employees must be accountable to the local residents who pay them.

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