A TOTAL of five council employees took home £100,000 or more last year, it has been revealed.

The figures, published in the TaxPayers’ Alliance’s 14th Town Hall Rich List, analysed data from councils across the country.

The council has defended the high salaries of the five employees, stating they ‘recruit hard-working, dedicated staff ‘ who are paid at a ‘competitive’ rate.

Test Valley Borough Council’s chief executive, Roger Tetstall who has since been replaced by, Andrew Ferrier brought home the highest pay packet of £179,000.

This was made up of a salary of £150,000, a pension of £21,000 and expenses of £8,000.       

Also appearing on the list is Andrew Ferrier, who at the time was a corporate director, he took home a total of £130,000.

This was made up of a salary of £107,000, expenses totalling £6,000 and a pension of £17,000.

Carol Moore, also a corporate director, earned the same salary and pension but took home £5,000 in expenses making her the third highest paid employee at the council.

The head of environmental services, Paul Wykes, also made the list with a salary of £82,000, a pension of £13,000 and expenses totalling £5,000.

William Fullbrook, who was head of finance at the council, was the last council employee to feature on the list, earning £82,000 in salary,  £13,000 on pension and claiming expenses of £5,000.,

The Taxpayers’ Alliance provides the council-by-council breakdown each year, alongside its call for local authorities to stop council tax rises and cut down on wasteful spending.       

A spokesperson for the council, told the Advertiser: “The borough council always reviews its finances to make sure, every year, that the £12 each household pay on average to the authority every month represents great value for money.

“Usually, this would cover the collection of your waste each week, licensing your local pub, ensuring the wellbeing of your favourite park, playgrounds or green space and the leisure offering across the borough with Romsey Rapids and the new Andover Leisure Centre.

“Those funds also go towards making sure the taxi you may have used is safe, helping to run your local community centre and catching those who think it’s acceptable to fly-tip in Test Valley, as well as offering help and assistance to those experiencing homelessness.

“Over the last 12 months, this has shifted as the council has prioritised processing tens of millions of pounds for businesses during the pandemic, awarding funding to foodbanks, volunteers to help with the Covid-19 vaccine rollout, and suspending parking charges during three national lockdowns.

“As a result, the council finds itself in a strong financial position and continues to look at other ways it can support the community during one of the most difficult times in recent history.

“The only way this is possible, is to recruit hard-working, dedicated staff who are able to manage and deliver these fantastic services and plan for the future – whatever it may bring.

“While we recognise that many other authorities match and further exceed these salaries, the council has always had a policy of paying competitive salaries across the board in order to attract good quality staff to serve the people of Test Valley. Our finances and expenditure is always available for the public to see at any time through our website.”