LEEDS CITY Council has defended its pay to senior staff after a report showed the authority employed 18 people earning more than £100,000 last year.
Six council staff earned more than £150,000 including chief executive Tom Riordan who was paid £202,218, the Taxpayers’ Alliance said.
The number of staff earning in excess of £100,000 at Leeds was down from 19 the previous year.
A council spokeswoman said: “We have been working incredibly hard over recent years to maximise savings and efficiencies while protecting frontline services as far as possible in the face of ever-shrinking budgets.
“One area on which we have focused is in reducing staff numbers, particularly among senior management, saving £55m a year in staffing since 2010. This is reflected in the fact that despite being the second-biggest council in the UK, we are only 19th in the table of local authorities with staff paid over £100,000.
“Despite massive financial challenges which have seen our core funding from government reduce by £214m since 2010, with a further reduction of £25m in the coming year, we will continue to deliver the best possible value for council taxpayers.”
Across Yorkshire, 121 council staff were paid more than £100,000 last year, according to the report.
John O’Connell, chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, 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.”