Across the UK at least 2,454 council staff were paid more than £100,000 a year in 2017/18.
That was 148 more than in 2016/17 and the highest number since 2013/14, despite in most parts of the country services being cut back due to funding cuts and council tax rising.
The figures have been released by the TaxPayers’ Alliance as part of its ‘Town Hall Rich List’.
The new list released today (Tuesday, April 9) by the lobbying group reveals that Peterborough City Council had eight officers paid £100,000 or more in 2017/18, although the salaries were split in some cases with Cambridgeshire County Council, with staff working across both authorities.
The highest earner was chief executive of both authorities Gillian Beasley, whose salary was £171,597.
Taking into account other benefits, including a pension of £28,692, her overall pay packet last year was £205,164.
This, though, pales into comparison with the £595,077 taken home by the former interim chief executive of Slough Borough Council Roger Parkin, who received a £440,000 severance payment after leaving the authority last December.
In total 608 council employees in the UK earned over £150,000 in the last financial year, while 28 received remuneration in excess of a quarter of a million pounds.
The authority with the highest number of staff receiving £100,000 or more was Essex County Council with 55 - nearly double the next highest (28 - several councils).
John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “The average council tax bill has gone up by more than £900 over the last 20 years and spending has gone through the roof.
“Disappointingly, many local authorities are now responding to financial reality through further tax rises and reducing services rather than scaling back top pay.
“Despite many in the public sector facing a much-needed pay freeze to help bring the public finances under control, many town hall bosses are continuing to pocket huge remuneration packages, with staggering pay-outs for those leaving their jobs.
“There are talented people in the public sector who are trying to deliver more for less, but the sheer scale of these packages raise serious questions about efficiency and priorities.”
The other seven roles at Peterborough City Council receiving a total pay of more than £100,000 in 2017/18 was:
. Corporate Director: People & Communities - £169,472
. Corporate Director: Growth & Regeneration - £150,332
. Service Director: Communities - £147,500
. Service Director: Finance - £132,500
. Corporate Director: Resources - £122,421
. Services Director: Children’s Services - £117,500
. Assistant Director: Children’s Social Care - £112,500.
A spokesperson for Peterborough City Council said: “The council has a small corporate management team in comparison to several other authorities and has reduced the number of employees earning over £100,000 in recent years.
“As part of an ongoing drive to reduce costs the council shares most of its senior management posts with Cambridgeshire County Council. This arrangement includes the authority’s chief executive, which has reduced her total remuneration paid by the city council by half.
“All senior city council salaries are agreed in line with our senior management pay structure which was approved by Employment Committee. In accordance with the council’s pay policy, advice is sought from the Hay Group’s independent evaluation scheme.”