North and South Lanarkshire councils’ top earners revealed in Taxpayers’ Alliance latest Rich List


More than 20 employees from Lanarkshire’s two councils received more than £100,000 in pay over the past 12 months, with some earning more than UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

North and South Lanarkshire councils’ top earners have been revealed in the latest TaxPayers’ Alliance annual Town Hall Rich List.

In total, 11 North Lanarkshire Council workers were listed, with four picking up six-figure salaries.



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The other seven employees had salaries listed at more than £90,000, with pension contributions taking them over the £100k threshold.

North Lanarkshire Council’s chief executive Des Murray took home a salary of just over £170,000.

Enterprise and communities executive director Robert Steenson was listed as having a salary of £136,270, while education and families executive director, Derek Brown, received £134,348.

Ross McGuffie, North Lanarkshire’s health and social care chief officer, took home a salary of just over £101,000.

Other names on the list included the council’s head of legal and democratic solutions, Archie Aitken, head of strategic communications, Stephen Penman, and Fiona Whittaker, the head of people and organizational development.

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North Lanarkshire Council chief executive Des Murray

A North Lanarkshire Council spokesman hit out at the Taxpayers Alliance calling on the pressure group to publish details of its own financial figures.

“The Taxpayers Alliance is a private company and political pressure group which routinely refuses to disclose its financial backers, how much they earn or, indeed, how much tax they pay,” said the spokesman.

“Inexplicably, it continues to be portrayed as a campaign representing ordinary people.

“The council is an accountable local authority which transparently publishes its accounts every year on its website so that genuine taxpayers can easily access it.

“These accounts include full details of pay for senior staff.

“There are now far fewer senior members of staff at the council than at any time in the past, which means that millions of pounds have been saved on a recurring basis.”

In neighboring South Lanarkshire, nine staff members received salaries of over £100,000, with another making the list due to pension contributions taking him over the threshold.

The council’s chief executive, Cleland Sneddon, was paid more than £164,000, while Paul Manning, the executive director of finance and corporate resources, took home a salary topping £147,000.

South Lanarkshire’s community and enterprise resources executive director, Michael McGlynn, South Lanarkshire health and social care director, Val de Souza, education resources chief, Tony McDaid, and housing boss Daniel Lowe each received a salary of more than £140,000.




Two unnamed South Lanarkshire Council employees received salaries of £102,500.

Responding to the list, a South Lanarkshire Council spokesman said: “The salaries paid to senior council staff are in line with their terms and conditions of employment and these figures are published every year in our annual accounts.

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“The Accounts Commission previously published a Best Value Assurance Report that noted that the council benefits from effective leadership and has sound financial management.

”It is worth noting that the Taxpayers’ Alliance is a private company that refuses to disclose its own financial arrangements.”

Across the UK and despite the pandemic, the number of council staff receiving more than £100,000 had increased by 119 to at least 2,921 people, the most since 2013-14.

John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Taxpayers facing a cost of living crisis want to know they are getting value for money from their local authority leadership.

“These figures will allow residents to judge town hall bosses for themselves and hold their local councils to account.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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