Austerity… yet Hackney council finds it can pay £100k to 5 more people than the 30 a year before

HackneyTH©DA0718: Mare St London E8 250718 © david.altheer@gmail.com
Hackney Town Hall: is the art-deco classic a door to big salaries?

THE RISE THIS YEAR of council tax in Hackney has been blamed partly on government cuts.

Of course, a Labour borough would criticise the austerity policy of the Conservatives, who are in power at Westminster.

Yet when it comes to Hackney’s top people, it still pays well, as Loving Dalston confirms every year when it sneaks a peek at the books.

This year 2018 it found that 35 people working for the council and the schools it controls are on £100,000 or more, five more than last year.

One employee, Joanna Sumner, walked off with £157,000 when, after 15 years at the council, she quit her job as assistant chief projects executive (the full title is impressively longer). The salary she gave up, with pension benefits totalled £223,103, but don’t fret too much for her giving up such a salary: she is now interim manager at the Greater London Authority.

Unrequested repro will be pursued legally if nec:Hackney town hall & limo E8 311014 © david.altheer@gmail.com
Limo to the town hall, please: that’s where to find a job with a top salary

Theresa May runs (or tries to) what is sometimes termed UK plc and as Prime Minister is entitled to £152,532 but a Cabinet Minister pay freeze means she has to get by on £150,402 a year.

For making sure that Hackney council functions well, Tim Shields gets £50,000 more than the PM. In neighbouring Islington, he would get £161,600 a year.

It should be noted, however, that Hackney is a big operation: it turns over £1.2 billion a year.

© LBH
Tim Shields: why is this man smiling?

Other £100k+ salaries (total remunerations):

* Chief executive Tim Shields, right, £205,717;

* Legal director Suki Binjal £183108;

* Housing director Kim Wright £177,406;

* Community health director Anne Canning £176,885;

* Finance director Ian Williams £176,885;

* Human resources head Dan Paul £132,074;

* Communications director Polly (Rance) Cziok £116,853;

* Strategy director Stephen Haynes £112,139.

Hackney council said: “We provides a vast range of services relied on by the local community, including our most vulnerable residents. Salaries for senior officers are in line with those in local authorities across the country and reflect the roles’ considerable responsibilities.”

John O’Connell, chief executive of the right-leaning Taxpayers’ Alliance, commented: ”While councils around the country bemoan their funding situation, the number of Hackney council employees on £100k pay packets has risen from 30 to 35.

“Those with senior local authority roles seem to treat their position as little more than a merry-go-round, jumping from one gold-plated job to the next, with sickening payoffs to ease the ride.

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Want to be driven in a Tesla? Lobby for a top councillor role

“Hackney is the only local authority in the country which feels the need to convey senior councillors around in a Tesla. These kind of salaries are just another slap in the face to those who had to pay 5 per cent more council tax last year.”

A Tesla is an electric car: in the UK it costs from £72,600.

David Altheer XX0918

* Backstory: Hackney’s Rich List 2015How Hackney Home saves on wagesHackney boss at heart of election fiasco; Top whack for top execs; The Hackney high earners

Town hall pictures on this page © DavidAltheer [at] gmail.com, both for sale for reproduction

* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained. Most photographs can be visually enlarged by pressing on them.

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