The highest-paid member of staff at Swindon Borough Council is paid more than eight times what its lowest-earning staffer would be.

But pay inequality between the top brass at Euclid Street and those earning the lowest amount has reduced in the past twelve months, analysis has revealed.

The council’s annual pay policy paper will be put to councillors as they meet mainly to approve the authority’s budget for next year.

This year the pay for the chief executive officer is £175,432. The lowest rung on the council's pay ladder is a full-time equivalent of £21,189 - a ratio of 1:8.2 - but the report confirmed no one is currently earning this.

That’s a drop from last year when the ratio was 1:9.7, and that itself was a small reduction for the low-to-high ratio in 2021-22 of 1:9.8, where the chief executive was earning nearly 10 times the pay of the lowest-paid staff.

The mean average salary paid this year is £32,916 and the median average, the middle point of all the salaries paid at Euclid Street, is £30,151.

The ratio of median salary to the highest is 1:5.6, while the ratio of mean to highest is 1:5.1.

The report to councillors says: “This is currently within the limits recommended by The Hutton Review of Fair Pay in the Public Sector and will be monitored and recorded annually.

“The recommendation of the Hutton as recognised by the Government in the Code of Recommended Practice for Local Authorities was that a pay ratio of the salary of the chief executive compared to the median average salary in the organisation should be published.

“The review raised concerns about multiples in the order of 1:20 or higher, between the lowest and the highest paid employees in local authorities. The council’s current ratio of lowest to highest is 1:8 and so is well below that level.”

The council's report adds that the lowest pay rate is the full-time equivalent salary at the lowest point on the pay ladder - but that there are no employees actually earning that amount.

The report also tells members that the number of employees who are earning over £50,000 per year has increased from 173 in April 2023 to 190 in October.

Apart from the chief executive, the highest-paid officers are two corporate directors paid between £135,000 and £140,000, and there are seven other senior officers who earn more than £100,000 a year.

The salary bill does not take into account elected councillors who are paid an allowance – currently £8,787, with extra for different responsibilities such as chairing committees or being a member of the cabinet.