More than a dozen people at Peterborough’s mayoral authority will receive £80,000 or more this year, including eight consultants.
The information revealed in a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by the Peterborough Telegraph shows 13 people will take home the large salary this year, the vast majority of whom are interims.
However, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CA) has refused to reveal how much each person will take home, claiming that to do so would breach General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The Peterborough Telegraph reported last July that seven employees would be taking home more than £100,000 a year.
It was also revealed recently that former chief executive of the CA Martin Whiteley was receiving £182,000 a year before he resigned in August.
Mayor James Palmer (pictured), leader of the CA, receives an annual salary of £75,000.
The CA only had the sign off by the Government to begin operating in March 2017.
In comparison, 14 members of staff at Peterborough City Council receive £80,000 or more a year, but six of those also work at Cambridgeshire County Council, so the authorities each pay half of the salaries.
The FOI reveals that those receiving £80,000 a year at the CA include the interim chief executive, interim chief finance officer, director of strategy and assurance and director of housing and development.
A full-time seconded officer working on the ‘East-West (N) Corridor’ will also receive £80,000 or more, as well as eight consultants engaged via an agency.
Their roles are: interim management accountant, deputy finance director and S151 officer, programme manager - Peterborough University, principal solicitor, interim monitoring officer and three legal consultants.
All are described as interim appointments.
The CA confirmed that this year it has employed a total of 10 interims and eight consultants.
The PT asked the CA if it is good value for taxpayers that 13 people will receive salaries of £80,000 this year, and why there are still so many interims in place?
A spokeswoman said: “It’s our duty to represent good value to the taxpayer. We also need the capacity to deliver a programme of work that will make a positive impact in our region. This means having a staffing structure with the skills and expertise to deliver large scale complex projects across our portfolio.
“This creates a requirement to hire specialists for short term work packages that we don’t need to employ on a permanent basis. Whilst it is likely therefore that we will always have some need for interim staff, the intention is that our use of interim to staff to cover key ongoing roles will decline as our permanent structure is implemented.
“This can be seen in our recent announcements concerning the hiring of directors to roles covering strategy and assurance, business and skills and housing.”