Newham council officer benefited from a £300,000 payout, says report

A council officer received the largest remuneration payout in London, according to a new report.

In the Taxpayers’ Alliance Town Hall Rich List, Newham Council’s former Executive Director Resources Bob Heaton received a remuneration package totalling £317,137.

But the council branded the report, published on Thursday, “deliberately misleading” because it included employer pension contributions of £178,910 on top of a partial salary for the year 2011/12 of £52,308 and £85,919 compensation for the loss of his position.

Heaton was earning a salary of £160,002 a year - a standard pay policy for chief officers in 2010/11, according to the council.

The report also revealed that 22 council officers received a remuneration package of more than £100,000 in 2011/12, making it the 13th most generous local authority in the UK that year.

This number has fallen from 30 employees the year before and a council spokesperson says this is the result of a recent savings review.

They added: “By including pension contributions due to employees as ‘remuneration’, this report is deliberately misleading.

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“The vast majority of the figure quoted for a former member of our staff relates to their pension contribution entitlement after almost 40 years in public service including more than 36 years of service at Newham Council.

“The Council has undertaken an extensive senior management review, reducing the number of senior managers, their salaries and support arrangements.

“We estimate this will save £3.2 million this year alone and the Council will undertake a wider management review this year which will provide further savings.”