Pay revealed for senior Northumberland County Council staff

Northumberland County Council’s former finance boss, who was in post for just eight months, cost the authority almost £200,000.

By Ben O'Connell
Friday, 26th July 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Friday, 26th July 2019, 12:45 pm
Northumberland County Council's headquarters.
Northumberland County Council's headquarters.

The authority’s draft statement of accounts for 2018-19 reveals that the former executive director of finance and deputy chief executive, Barry Scarr, who was in post from June 1, 2018, to February 8, 2019, received a total of £190,178, including pension contributions.

This included £97,299 of salary and allowances plus £72,812 in compensation for loss of office (including legal fees paid by the council).

The statement of accounts, which has not yet been approved as the external auditors are investigating whistle-blowing allegations, also shows that the highest salary paid last year was the £149,100 (£176,588 with pension contributions) for executive director of adult and children’s services, Cath McEvoy-Carr.

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However, aside from Mr Scarr, there were two other bosses who received a higher total remuneration (salary and allowances plus benefits in kind) – director of transformation Allison Joynson – £157,513 (£184,169 with pension contributions) and executive director of HR/deputy chief executive Kelly Angus – £158,756 (£179,848 with pension contributions).

It is worth noting though that, in common with a number of the senior officers, the director of transformation post is a joint role with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, with each organisation paying half. Ms Angus is on secondment from the trust, which pays all of her salary.

The council’s chief executive, Daljit Lally, was paid £138,139 (£163,465 with pension contributions), but she works half the week in her role as an executive director at Northumbria Healthcare.

The other senior leaders to receive total remuneration of more than £100,000 last year were executive director of place Paul Johnston (£139,624), Alison Elsdon, service director – finance (£126,000) and Chief Fire Officer Paul Hedley (£116,696).

Outside of the senior officers, the council had a total of 253 employees who received pay and benefits totalling £50,000 or more in 2018-19, an increase of one on the previous year.

As previously reported, the 2017-18 accounts revealed that the departure of the council’s previous chief executive, Steve Mason, cost the authority £370,000.

The 2017-18 statement showed that compensation for his loss of office, plus the council’s legal fees, was £369,999.

Combined with the salary of £31,378 he received prior to his departure, benefits of £6,310 and pension contributions of £5,805, the total outlay by the council in relation to Mr Mason was £413,492 that year.