BARNSLEY Council’s nine highest-earning employees cost more than £1.1m in wages and pensions, new figures released this week have revealed.

The Taxpayers’ Alliance’s ‘Town Hall Rich List’ identified Barnsley Council as having nine staff members breaching the £100,000-a-year bracket in 2019/20.

Top earner was the now-retired executive director for people, Rachel Dickinson, whose total package of £164,000 included a salary of £143,000 and a £21,000 pension top-up.

Chief executive Sarah Norman’s salary of £128,000 was also added to with £5,000 in expenses and a £19,000 pension - considerably less than former boss Diana Terris, whose final year in the post yielded a £159,000 salary and an £89,000 pension.

Another retirement occurred when core services director Andrew Frosdick departed, having pocketed a salary of £121,000 and a pension of £41,000, according to the latest figures.

Place director Matt Gladstone, public health boss Julia Burrows, communities leader Wendy Lowder and three ‘undisclosed’ employees also topped six figures, with the nine totalling £1,109,122.

The figure - less than the previous year’s £1.17m - is largely due to the gap in chief executive salaries, which shows a £97,000 difference.

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According to the study, the highest remunerated employee in 2019/20 was the deputy chief executive at Coventry Council, receiving £573,660 in total remuneration.

A Taxpayers’ Alliance spokesman said: “This is the 14th version of this list, first compiled in 2007 - for the past 14 years we have assembled the most comprehensive list of council employees in the UK in receipt of over £100,000 in total remuneration.

“The average number of employees who received over £100,000 in total remuneration per local authority is seven, while the average number receiving over £150,000 is 1.7 employees per council.

“The figures in council salary bands rarely include employer pension contributions. Consequently, many non-senior members of staff in the headcount are reported as receiving salaries between £90,000 and £99,999, but their total remuneration is likely to exceed £100,000 when employers’ pension contributions are taken into account.

“As such, the total number of employees receiving over £100,000 in total remuneration is likely to exceed the identified number.”

In Barnsley’s list, the retired director of finances, assets and IT also received a £147,000 pension payment in 2019/20 and £146,000 the year before.

Council leader Sir Steve Houghton added: “We’re incredibly careful with taxpayers’ money and the cost has come down, but these employees have kept this borough going over the last 12 months.

“Quality costs and in areas such as children and adult care, we simply won’t cut corners.”