A GROUP that campaigns for lower taxes has applauded the “restraint” and cost cutting measures of two councils who have joined forces.

The chief executive of Taunton Deane and West Somerset Councils is the only member of staff at the two authorities earning over £100,000.

According to the councils' website, a further ten employees earn between £60,000 and £85,000.

The two councils combined management and the provision of services to cut costs.

Andy Silvester, from the TaxPayers' Alliance said: "The councils are to be congratulated for thinking of innovative ways to bring down the cost of local government to the taxpayer.

“At a time when councils are finding necessary savings, it's absolutely right that senior officials recognise their part in finding those savings.

“Too many other councils across the country are showing rather less restraint when it comes to senior pay and should take note of this example."

The alliance was critical of Somerset County Council when it emerged that 15 posts at County Hall each cost council taxpayers £96,000 or more, seven staff were on more than £85,000 and 25 managers earned between £54,978 and £63,639.

A spokeswoman for the Deane and West Somerset said: “Information on senior officers' pay is freely available on websites serving both councils.

“Following the decision to bring officers from both councils together as one team, serving the two separate, independent authorities, a single management team has been established.

“The team numbers 12, a net reduction of four senior staff across the two councils, resulting in significant cost savings.

“The senior management team is responsible for staff across both councils and management of two budgets.”


  • Chief executive Penny James, £110,000.
  • Shirlene Adam, director of operations, £85,000.
  • James Barrah, director of housing and communities, £80,000.
  • Brendan Cleere, director of growth and development, £80,000.
  • Bruce Lang, assistant chief executive and monitoring officer, £63,500.
  • Richard Sealy, assistant director corporate services, £60,000.
  • Paul Fitzgerald, assistant director resources, £60,000.
  • Chris Hall, assistant director operational delivery, £60,000.
  • Simon Lewis, assistant director housing and community development, £60,000.
  • Tim Burton, assistant director planning and environment, £60,000.
  • Ian Timms, assistant director business development, £60,000.
  • Kene Ibezi, assistant director property and development, £60,000.