THE North East Council staff earning close to or more than £100,000 a year have been listed.

One Middlesbrough Council staff member earned more than £200,000 in 2019/20, according to the annual list put together by the Taxpayers’ Alliance.

Some are making more in yearly pension contributions, than many people get in their annual salary.

County Durham: 

  • Chief Executive: £196,343
  • Corporate director - adult and health services: £148,789
  • Corporate director - resources: £148,583
  • Corporate director - regeneration and local services: £123,819
  • Director - transformation and partnerships: £121,297
  • Head of legal and democratic services (monitoring officer): £116,744

Paul Darby, Durham County Council’s interim corporate director of resources, said: “Right across the council, all of our efforts have been focussed on the response to the coronavirus pandemic, ensuring residents and local businesses are aware of the support they can access and providing that support.

“As the largest council in the North East and the seventh largest single tier authority in England, it is inevitable that our numbers will be higher than those of smaller organisations.

“We deliver excellent services to more than half a million residents with gross expenditure in excess of £1 billion.

“Our management team was created when the council was formed to replace the eight local authorities in existence across County Durham in 2009.

“This saved more than £3.6 million in senior management costs at that time.

“The salaries of all senior managers and that of the chief executive were individually assessed prior to the creation of the new authority, taking into account independent advice, to ensure that the levels of pay were commensurate to the responsibilities involved.

“Since 2009 there has been a significant reduction in management across the authority and like all other public sector employees a pay freeze existed up until 2017.”

Darlington Borough Council:

  • Managing Director: £150,858
  • Director of economic growth & neighbourhood services: £122,820
  • Director of children and adult services: £122,820
  • Assistant director resources: £100,251
  • Director of public health: £97,000

A Darlington Borough Council spokesperson said: “We understand that taxpayers want to know they are getting value for money from their local authority leadership. As part of our determination to ensure this, we continuously review our management structure. Thanks to these reviews, our management costs have significantly reduced in recent years, and in June, this structure will transform again.

“We want to attract experienced and talented people to our leadership team while making sure our overall senior structure is lean and performs well. The pay of the council’s senior officers is set in line with national guidance as well as independent reviews.

“Our focus, as ever, remains on delivering value for money and the best outcomes for residents, communities and our borough.”

Hartlepool Borough Council:

  • Chief Executive: £160,191
  • Director of regeneration & neighbourhoods: £116,810
  • Director of children's and joint commissioning services: £114,268
  • Director of resources and development: £110,907
  • Director of adult and community based services: £109,535
  • Director of public health: £96,528

A Hartlepool Borough Council spokesperson said: “The most senior local government posts come with significant statutory responsibility and that is reflected in the salaries paid by councils across the UK. As an authority, it is vital that we are able to recruit suitably qualified and experienced staff but we also recognise the importance of achieving best value for local Council Tax payers.

"The salaries paid to our most senior staff are, in some cases, lower than the average “going rate” for the region and, in addition, significant savings have been achieved in recent years as a result of Senior Management Team restructures.”


  • Executive director of children’s services: £211,971
  • Chief Executive: £148,837
  • Executive director growth and places: £120,556
  • Strategic director of finance, governance and support / section 151 officer: £103,161
  • Director of adult social care and health integration: £95,005

Middlesbrough Council were approached for a comment, in response a spokesperson said the executive director of children's services salary represented the combined salary and exit package of the previous director of children’s services who left Middlesbrough Council in February, 2020.

Redcar and Cleveland:

  • Corporate director for children's services: £124,574
  • Service director of corporate director for growth, enterprise and environment: £123,886
  • Corporate director for adults and communities: £123,886
  • Assistant director - governance and monitoring officer: £90,813
  • Chief Executive: £89,877
  • Assistant director organisational change: £69,619

Redcar and Cleveland Council spokesperson: “The council is a very complex, multi-faceted organisation which offers a huge array of services including those involving the protection of the most vulnerable. It is also a major local employer with a vital role in stimulating much-needed economic growth.

"As such, it is crucial people with the experience and skills needed to make the maximum positive difference are in place and that does involve offering some salary rates similar to other councils of similar size across the region. Senior pay is decided by elected councillors with full access to all information and the salaries are published as part of a transparent, democratic process.”

Stockton-on-Tees Council:

  • Director of finance & business services: £109,447
  • Managing Director: £148,851
  • Director of children's services: £119,397
  • Director of adults and health: £119,397
  • Monitoring officer: £119,397

A Stockton Council spokesperson said: “We have seen huge cuts to our budget in recent years and we have responded as any efficient and well-run organisation should, including by making savings in our senior management costs.

“The Managing Director role was created in 2019 as part of a senior management restructure which deleted the Chief Executive post and reduced senior management costs by more than £1million a year.

“Senior officer salaries at the council are in line with those paid at comparable authorities across the country and reflect the postholders’ responsibilities and expertise.

“We are a large organisation with an annual budget of £185million and more than 3,000 staff who work very hard every day to deliver a wide range of services to the people of the Borough.”