JUST how much the new boss of Bradford Council will get in his or her wage packet is still up for discussion, according to Bradford Council leader David Green.
The salary for who ever takes over from current chief executive Tony Reeves, who is on a salary of £204,000, will have to be talked about cross-party first, he said.
Cllr Green, who also heads the Labour group, was reacting to the Taxpayers' Alliance latest Town Hall Rich List which showed the Council had nine employees earning more than £100,000 a year and was going against a national fall across the UK where high earners were being reduced.
The list showed despite the general cuts crisis, the number of its top paid staff had gone up from eight in 2011/12 to nine in 2012/13.
But Cllr Green defended that rise saying he believed the extra job was the Director of Public Health after the department crossed over from the now defunct Primary Care Trusts to becoming the responsibility of the Council.
He said: "We are continually looking at management costs. All posts over £100,000 have to be reported to full council every year. We have not had any new employees over that time but the increase may well be down to the Director of Public Health who came over to the authority's responsibility from the PCTs and brought her own budget with her."
He added: "The people on these big salaries by and large are likely to be strategic directors and clearly there are significant responsibilities that go with these positions both policy and legal and we have to reflect the demand for those skills. However, there has been a significant reduction in those high-earning jobs over the past four or five years."
A spokesman for the Taxpayers' Alliance said: "Even if the new role is from public health and has crossed over with its own budget, Bradford's figure of earners on more than £100,000 has not fallen and has not followed the national trend we are seeing."
The 2012/13 Town Hall Rich List identified at least 2,181 UK council staff who received total remuneration in excess of the six-figure mark, a five per cent drop on the previous year's figure of 2,295 although Bradford was one of 93 councils whose figure went up.
Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the Alliance, said: "Taxpayers expect their council to be filling potholes, not pay packets.
"Many rank-and-file staff in local councils will be equally appalled - at a time when councils across the country are freezing pay, it appears the money they're saving is being used to line the pockets of town hall tycoons."
Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles, a former leader of Bradford Council, said: "This Government has taken steps to open up the secret pay deals struck behind closed doors and given elected councillors new powers to veto excessive pay and perks. But councillors now need to use these powers and stand up for local taxpayers."