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Council tax rises as top officers scoop £100,000 salaries

PUBLISHED: 11:42 09 April 2009 | UPDATED: 16:30 25 August 2010

Bosses at a council which increased council tax this year are earning more than £100,000 annually with bonuses of up to £14,000.

Bosses at a council which increased council tax this year are earning more than £100,000 annually with bonuses of up to £14,000.

The astonishing salaries paid for with taxpayers' money were published by pressure group Tax Payers' Alliance (TPA) on Monday after using the Freedom of Information Act.

The report showed that Bexley council had five officers earning in excess of £100,000 per annum last year.

This revelation comes after councillors at the Tory council voted last month to hike council tax by 2.5 per cent.

On the list is the current assistant director of highways and amenities Michael Frizoni, who earned £110,000 last year including a £8,000 bonus. Director of environment and regeneration services Peter Ellershaw received £165,000 including a £14,000 bonus.

The director of children's and young people's services Deborah Absalom earned £172,000 including a bonus of £14,000.

Even though Greenwich councillors froze council tax this year, they had 11 officers last year earning more than £100,000.

Chief executive Mary Ney earned £182,819 last year, the deputy to the chief David McCollum earned £159,860 and director of finance Christopher Perry was paid £138,020.

But bosses at the council refused to disclose any bonus details.

Both Bexley and Greenwich councils refused to comment on the salaries.

TPA policy analyst Maria Fort said: "It is very frustrating that councils feel they do not have to comment on this. It is like saying to the public it is none of your business what is being done with their money. Councils should justify every single penny of taxpayers' money."

Bosses at neighbouring Bromley council have been accused of breaking the law after they refused to disclose their salaries.

In the last year, the council has had 14 officers earning more than £100,000 per annum but they refused to reveal their names, job titles and specific amounts.

A spokesperson from the Campaign for Freedom of Information said: "The Information Commissioner's Office has made it clear that senior officials must expect a greater degree of scrutiny than junior ones, particularly where public money is involved."

A spokesperson for Bromley council refused to comment on the allegations of them breaking the law but cited data protection issues as the reason for the delay.

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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