Sheffield public health chief’s £178,000 pay ‘addressed’

Greg Fell, Sheffield's new director of public health, the first new holder of the post for a decade

Greg Fell, Sheffield's new director of public health, the first new holder of the post for a decade

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A Sheffield council chief’s pay was slashed after his predecessor took home more than £178,000, figures have revealed.

Jeremy Wight, who resigned last year, was the top-earning local authority director of public health in Yorkshire, and the fifth best paid in the country, according to the Taxpayers’ Alliance.

Richard Blackledge

Richard Blackledge

His total remuneration for 2014-2015 of £178,035 was £40,000 more than the Prime Minister’s.

Mr Wight’s successor, Greg Fell, has seen the post’s salary cut dramatically, but is still on £105,494.

Sheffield Council’s director of human resources, Julie Toner, said the public health director’s salary was ‘addressed’ when Mr Fell was appointed earlier this year.

“When public health responsibilities came into the council, staff were transferred on protected salaries and funded for the first five years by a public health grant from the Government. This was cut last year,” said Ms Toner.

“When the council was in the position to recruit a director of public health we took the opportunity to address the salary and that of the current DPH is significantly lower than his predecessor.

“We have also saved a further £1m elsewhere from senior staff pay in the last few years.”

The figures from the alliance showed that 10 directors of public health from Yorkshire were among more than 300 officials paid more than £100,000 a year.

The pressure group criticised the salaries, calling them ‘enormous’.

Dr Rupert Suckling, who took over as Doncaster’s public health chief after Dr Tony Baxter retired last year, receives total remuneration of £115,907, including additional payments and employer’s pension contribution.

The list was topped by the directors of public health in Cornwall and Oxfordshire who were on over £200,000, while 199 people working for Public Health England were on salaries and allowances of over £99,999.

There were also 16 regional NHS public health employees with salaries and bonuses of over £99,999.