Two senior members of staff at St Albans City and District Council earned more than £100,000 last year – three times the national average salary – it has been revealed.

Every year the TaxPayer’s Alliance puts together a list of local authority employees whose total annual remuneration exceeds £100,000.

Last week it disclosed that the council’s chief executive James Blake and head of legal services Mike Lovelady both received six figure salaries in 2015-16.

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Amanda Foley, head of corporate services at the council, confirmed both had been paid in excess of £100,000 last year, including pay and pension contributions.  

However she argued they received fair salaries in accordance with their responsibilities.  

She said: “When we last carried out a benchmarking exercise our chief executive, who is also head of policy, had one of the lowest levels of pay for a council chief executive in Hertfordshire.

“Our head of legal, democratic services and regulatory services also acts as the returning officer for the district managing local elections. His total remuneration includes payments from the Government for this additional responsibility.

“We work to ensure that the council is managed efficiently and that employees are motivated by fairly rewarding them for the work that they do. Both have two roles and their remuneration packages reflect these additional responsibilities.

“As a public body we need to be transparent. Our pay policy sets out arrangements for senior employees and is available on our website, along with details of remuneration for senior employees.”

Chief executive Mr Blake is due to leave his current role in July after a four-and-a-half year tenure to take over the top job at the Youth Hostels Association. His successor will receive a salary of £103,000, capped at £110,000.

In the last financial year, Hertfordshire County Council paid ten members of staff £100,000 or more, down from 12 in 2014-15.

However the council defended its pay policy, saying: “We have taken significant steps to reduce senior management costs at Hertfordshire County Council in recent years.”