Scottish Borders Council’s six top earners on almost £600,000 a year between them, figures reveal

Scottish Borders Council chief executive Tracey Logan.
Scottish Borders Council chief executive Tracey Logan.

Scottish Borders Council’s six top earners are paid almost £600,000 a year between them, it has been revealed.

The biggest chunk of that £575,500 wage bill goes to chief executive Tracey Logan, her salary for the financial year 2017-18 being £120,878.

She is one of only two council employees banking six-figure sums, the other being SB Cares managing director Philip Barr on £106,906.

Services director Rob Dickson and Donna Manson, formerly service director for children and young people but now chief executive of Highland Council, were both paid £87,849.

Chief financial officer David Robertson is the council’s fifth biggest earner, on £87,140, and Martin Joyce, service director for assets and infrastructure, isn’t far behind, on £84,825 for the same period.

However, Ms Logan and other directors agreed to a voluntary pay freeze in 2014 to help with council cutbacks.

The figures have been released by the TaxPayers’ Alliance, a right-wing pressure group campaigning for lower taxes, as part of its annual town hall rich list.

A council spokesperson said: “Scottish Borders Council has reduced the number of officers paid salaries of over £100,000 in recent years, from four in 2011-12 to the current number of two.

“Our salary levels are set by reference to national agreements and reflect the scale and responsibility associated with the management of a complex public-sector organisation with gross annual turnover of £300m.

“The council is well aware of the challenging financial times we are faced with.

“This is why we have, over several years, made decisions to help protect our front-line services and our staff.”

The spokesperson added that Ms Logan’s salary is lower than most of her peers, with 21 out of Scotland’s 32 council chief executives earning more.

Alliance chief executive John O’Connell said: “There are talented people in the public sector who are trying to deliver more for less, but the sheer scale of these packages raise serious questions about efficiency and priorities.”

“The average council tax bill has gone up by more than £900 over the last 20 years and spending has gone through the roof.

“Disappointingly, many local authorities are now responding to financial reality through further tax rises and reducing services rather than scaling back top pay.

“Despite many in the public sector facing a much-needed pay freeze to help bring the public finances under control, many town hall bosses are continuing to pocket huge remuneration packages, with staggering payouts for those leaving their jobs.”