County’s biggest earners take home giant wage packets despite cutbacks

Jo Turton, Chief Executive of Lancashire County Council.
Jo Turton, Chief Executive of Lancashire County Council.

Lancashire County Council’s biggest earners have been revealed at a time when County Hall is facing savage cuts in funding.

Chief executive Jo Turton gets the most money, with a salary of £170,000 a year in 2014/15 plus £5,848 travel benefits in kind and pension contributions of £21,420.

chief executive Jo Turton gets the most money of £170,000 a year

The county council also paid £9,000 relocation costs after she took up the top post. She was appointed interim chief executive in August 2013 becoming chief executive in February last year.

The council says it is saving £11.4m a year after staffing cuts in its first phase of “transformation” when more than a quarter of senior managers left.

The reductions - from 753 to 596 posts, were made between November 2014 and March 2015. A spokesman said: “As it was disproportionately aimed at the more senior managers, the reduction reduced salary costs for those managers by 38 per cent.”

In all exit packages for 1,008 workers who have left the council, most voluntarily, with just 22 compulsory redundancies, have cost the council £30.7m.

Reports to the council’s audit and governance committee revealed the highest cost for a worker leaving the council cost £406,000, the next £258,000, while the 596 departures in the up-to-£20,000 salary band cost the council £5.2m.

With goodbyes said to 192 staff in the salary belt £20,000-£40,000, that was another £5.2m. Costs of £2.6m hit for the higher 55 earners who left in the £40-£60,000 bracket.

Some 41 had been earning between £80,000 and £100,000, 55 up to £150,000, 15 up to £200,000 and four between £200,000 and £250,000.