Wandsworth Council boss Paul Martin gets £60,000 pay rise in two years

Laughing all the way to the bank: Wandsworth Council chief executive Paul Martin

Laughing all the way to the bank: Wandsworth Council chief executive Paul Martin

First published in News
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Wandsworth Council’s chief executive is raking in more than £250k a year, the highest figure for a single council in London and £60k more than when he was hired two years ago.

Data, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, revealed chief executive Paul Martin trousered a startling £254,880 in 2011-12.

Out of London’s 32 councils, only Derek Myers (£266,991) earned a salary more than Wandsworth’s very own “fat cat”, but his role straddles two councils, Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham, compared to Mr Martin’s one.

Wandsworth’s previous chief executive, Gerald Jones, pocketed more than £300k before he left the post in 2011.

Upon replacing him, Mr Martin was reportedly handed a moderate salary of £189,000 meaning his considerable pay packet has soared by a whopping 35 per cent since then.

Neighbouring council chief exectives in Merton and Lambeth net £211,785 and £229,290 respectively, while the lowest pay in the capital is Southwark’s Annie Shepherd who earns a mere £170,310.

To put the figures into context, an NHS nurse would have to work for 10 years to earn £250,000 whilea starting teacher would have to work for 13 years.

Prime Minister David Cameron is rewarded with a £142,000 salary.

Councillor Rex Osborn, leader of the oppoistion Labour group, said: "The enormous pay packages of senior staff on Wandsworth Council are unjustifiably high - something that the Labour group has challenged year after year.

"At a time when valuable front line services are being cut, and posts are being made redundant, it beggars belief that the Wandsworth Conservatives are still unwilling to tackle their addiction to high pay.

"Other Councils manage to employ highly capable staff for a fraction of the cost, and residents are growing tired of the Wandsworth Tories' insistence on keeping its gravy train going at the expense of crucial services."

The data reveals Mr Martin leads a pack of 43 other Wandsworth Council employees earning more than £100k, although the council insists the actual figure is half that.

In 2008, Wandsworth Council paid 20 employees more than £100k yet five years deeper into the recession, more staff are taking home a £100k plus pay cheque.

The council is attempting to cut its budget by a further £15m by 2014 and services including libraries, adventure playgrounds, lollipop services, one o’clock clubs, parks police and meals on wheels have already been cut.

It also announced it was considering merging four large departments, childrens/adult services plus housing/environment and community services, potentially triggering large job cuts.

A council spokesman said: “The current figure is 22 and this number will fall even further in the months ahead. The council has reduced senior executive pay by more than £800,000 since 2010.

“The council is a £900m a year business and looks after more than £3bn of public assets.

“It is by employing highly-skilled and talented people that’s ensured Wandsworth is one of the best-run and most efficient councils in the country while charging residents the nation’s lowest average council tax bills.”

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