Wednesday, 30 July 2008


In the year 2006/07 the council employed 183 staff paid salaries in excess of £50,000 p.a.In the year 2007/08 this rose to 220 staff paid in excess of £50,000 p.a. An increase of 37 people paid more than £50,000 p.a. Employee pension contributions are included A better pension scheme than most of you can even imagine.

Every £5000 is near enough £100/week, so £50,000 is about £1000/week or £4000/month; £100,000 is about £8000/month. £200,000 is about £16,000/month. At a reasonably good guess, I'd say a very large number of people in Wigan earn between £8-£16,000 a YEAR! That's somewhere between £160-£320/week or £640-£1280/month. Many people can only get part-time work. The numbers are based on a 50-week year, so are only an approximation.

These numbers were made up as follows:

£50,000 - £59,999
2006/07 126 2007/08 154
An increase of 28 people in that salary range (about £1,000-£1,200/week or £4,000-£4800/month).

£60,000 - £69,999
2006/07 32 2007/08 36
An increase of four people in that salary range ( about £1200-£1400/week or £4800-£5,600/month).

£70,000 - £79,999
2006/07 11 2007/08 14
An increase of three people in that salary range (about £1,400-£1,600/week or £5,600-£6,400/month).

£80,000 - £89,999
2006/07 3 2007/08 6
An increase of three people in that salary range (about £1600-£1800/week or £6400-£7200/month).

£90,000 - £99,999
2006/07 3 2007/08 1
A decrease of two people in that salary range (about £1800-£2000/week or £7200-£8000/month) .

Where did those two people go? I suspect up a band or two, not down (unless retired, moved to another council (I doubt if it would be to the private sector for these sorts of salaries and benefits packages) or (doubtfully) fired).

£100,000 - £109,999
2006/07 1 2007/08 2
An increase of one person in that salary range (about £2000-£2,200/week or £8000-£8,800/month).

£110,000 - £119,999
2006/07 1 2007/08 1
No change (about £2,200-£2400/week or £8,800-£9,600/month).

£120,000 - £129,999
2006/07 1 2007/08 0
A decrease of one person in this salary range (about £2,400-£2600/week or £9,600-£10,400/month).

I would add the same comment for this decrease as for the previous one

£130,000 - £139,999
2006/07 3 2007/08 0
A decrease of three people in this salary range (about £2,600-£2800/week or £10,400-£11,200/month.

Again, I would add that same comment. And coming up is where I suspect - but don't actually know for sure - five of those decreases in numbers went.

£140,000 - £149,999
2006/07 0 2007/08 2
An increase of two people in this salary range (about £2,800-£3,000/week or £11,200-£12,000/month).

£150,000 - £159,999
2006/07 0 2007/08 2
An increase of two people in this salary range (about £3000-£3200/week or £12,000-"£12,800/month).

Now we have to skip a £10,000 band and go into the £170,000+ range.

£170,000 - £179,999
2006/07 0 2007/08 1
An increase of one person in this salary range (about £3400-£3600/week or £13,600-£14,400/month).

Again we skip £10,000, and get to the top salary:

£190,000 - £199,999
2006/07 1 2007/8 1
No change (about £3,800-£4,000/week or £15,200-£16,000/month).

This last salary is, I should think, that of Ms Redfearn. I will not pass judgement on this or any others of the salary ranges listed here. I am not qualified to pass judgement other than to say that these sums of money are fabulous amounts in my experience of life. Please make comments in the comments section. All are welcome - we need to talk about this, especially as the gap between top and bottom of the pay range in this country is now at levels not seen since Victorian times, and social mobility has all but ground to a halt.

Now then, having said that, let me give my opinion on how this council is run, and note this is all subjective opinion only: I hear numerous complaints about the council - the council this, or the council not that. I don't really say much about those complaints as they seem to come mostly from people who have never been residents (residents - this is from a resident's point of view) under the jurisdiction of any other council. I have been resident in the jurisdiction of exactly ten other councils (two of them twice, and for years at a time), and I must say that Wigan is probably the best, friendliest, most informative and efficient council I've ever encountered (arguably Bucks County Council is up there with Wigan). My view may be coloured by having lived five years in Plymouth before coming back north to live - that was without a doubt, the opposite of my above description of Wigan - from a resident's point of view. The parks are pleasant, my bin is regularly emptied on a weekly basis, I get informed in advance of any changes in routine services, my opinion is asked on various matters, for example the ongoing consultation about Congestion Charging (I'll be voting against it unless by some miracle there are rapid improvement in public transport), the town centre is kept clean by real human beings using a brush and shovel, plenty of flowers are planted throughout the town centre and in the parks (I like flowers all over the place). All in all I'm quite content.

But the question is - and I can't answer it - are those salaries justified? I suspect that with the hard times that are coming - and they are - that if all those salaries were cut by 20% NOBODY WOULD RESIGN, and Wigan would operate just as it does now. The hard times and inevitable coming redundancies may make the council staff work even better, if only for fear of being on the next redundancy list, much as many people in the private sector have already experienced, and will no doubt be further experiencing in the near future. That, of course, is just an opinion. Please comment.

How much do binmen, street sweepers and park gardeners get paid? They all seem to do a good job. And almost any medical doctor would agree with me that sanitation workers contribute more to public health than does the medical profession ... if that doctor is being honest and actually understands what I just said - PUBLIC health, not the same as the health of any individual. It was changes to water supply and sewage systems that brought the scourge of typhoid to an end in this country, not advances in medicine, for example.

Note: yes, all these fabulous salaries are taxed, but so are the low salaries I mentioned at the beginning. It's also noticable that the bottom 10% of wage earners in this country pay about 37% of their earnings in tax, but the top 10% (over £50K p.a.), pay only 34%. On average.

That's the modern-day Labour party and government for you. Mind how you vote come general election time (maximum 19 months from now, unless a State of Emergency can be faked and elections called off. Probably indefinitely).

How can people on these sorts of salaries possibly comprehend what life is like for people living on benefits, or at or near minimum wage?

Comments, please - from BNP members and non-BNP members. Comments on this blog are open to all, and all opinions are welcome. Other than for using foul language, gratuitous insults or threats, nobody is ever censored.


Lanky Patriot said...

Well done Morgan. The amount paid to these people equates to £45 for every man, woman and child in the borough. No wonder council taxes are so high.
One thing though. Do these people include senior police officers or head teachers or are they just employed in the Metro offices?
Keep digging Lad. I'm sure you'll find lots to interest the taxpayers of Wigan.For instance how much does Elliot Brown's department cost?
Beware Wigan Metro we are watching you

Sir Henry Morgan said...


I spoke this morning to someone from the finance department, and yes, it includes head teachers.

I don't think it includes police officers, as police authorities are required to produce their accounts separately, for public examination. I had planned to look at the GMP authority accounts, but medical matters intervened. I've missed it now for this year, but I'll be back next year. They were available at an address in Oldham (maybe Bolton), of all places.

And whoever said accounts are dull? - it's fascinating.

Elliott Brown's department is on my list of requests.

The finance department is very helpful (I speak as I find - you know that). I'm still going through the summary I (and Ken) was given. It's very technical and it's taking time to understand (with the help of Google) and even then there are parts that are beyond my comprehension. Will be seeking appropriate training and education before this time next year.

I'll be back in there tomorrow a.m. for a closer look at some of the things in the summary. There's a trust fund with a strange pattern of transactions, and I'd like a closer look at the Sandyforth open-cast development. For examples among other things.

I wish I was more knowledgable about accounts.

Leigh, Lancashire Nationalist said...

Good post Sir Henry!

I must admit to being quite astonished at these salaries! Although, in many ways, thinking about it; it doesn't surprise me in the very least.

And lest we forget those who are just not content with such generous salaries, such as the likes of Mrs and Mrs Wakelam, both were high ranking employees of the council (Accounts Dept.) and who are now facing trial in the law courts on fraud charges to the tune of £180,000 against their employees and we, the hardworking and hard pressed contributors of the borough!

Then there's the funds given to such wonderful council backed organisations such as:

A) B.YoU Project

B) Rafiki/Motswako Project

C) Wigan Hate Crime Conference

D) Wigan and Leigh United against Racism (WLUAR)

E) Black and Minority Ethnic Children and Young People Wellbeing Group

And last but not least: COMMON PURPOSE.

Have you seen the picture on the Common Purpose website of B.yoU Project?( A Group of 15-24 yr old Wiganers getting together to raise awareness about homophobia and lesbian, gay and bi-sexual (LGB) issues.)And they try to deny 'Common Purpose' isn't playing any part in running this council!

I do have a number of requests pending with the council via the FoI Act 2000 regarding much of the above; and in addition, a number relating to our friend Mr Brown.

We will have to sit down sometime Sir Henry and compare our notes?

Anti-gag said...

This is a good local story. News at this level (ie local) is often more interesting and relevant to local people than the big national stories.

The party needs more blogs concentrating on local stories, rather than thirty or forty blogs covering the same national story.

Chris Hill