Lincolnshire County Council defends paying chief executive more than the Prime Minister

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Lincolnshire County Council has defended paying its chief executive more than the Prime Minister, saying “to attract and retain the best and brightest people we have to pay a suitable wage”.

According to figures released by the Taxpayers’ Alliance this week, the county council’s chief executive Tony McArdle is paid a salary of £173,226, rising to £207,113 after pension contributions and other payments. David Cameron’s salary is £142,500.

David O’Connor, executive director for performance and governance, said: “The county council is one of Lincolnshire’s largest employers. Our chief executive is responsible for a multi-million pound budget and the thousands of staff who deliver a broad range of vital services to the fourth largest county in the country. To attract and retain the best and brightest people, we have to pay a suitable wage.

“We use extensive research to make sure our salaries are competitive with similar councils. And when senior salaries in the public sector are compared to the private sector, it’s clear the taxpayer gets good value for money.”

The figures also show the county council has 18 other members of staff who were paid more than £100,000. The county council says that for 2011/12 six members of staff were paid a salary of over £100,000 with a further 13 receiving more than £100,000 including redundancy payments.

Mr O’Connor said: “We’ve actually reduced our senior management team over the last two years. As with all downsizing the long-term savings this brings will far outweigh the short-term costs.”