Page last updated at 21:12 GMT, Monday, 9 November 2009

Council chief's salary criticised

A council has been criticised for its decision to pay its chief executive a "base salary" of £230,000 a year.

Campaign group the Taxpayers' Alliance said Essex County Council had "no justification" for paying such a high salary to Joanna Killian.

The council said Ms Killian, also chief executive of Brentwood Borough Council, delivered savings of nearly £100m in the past two years.

It said the salary was fair given the complexity of Ms Killian's role.

The Taxpayers' Alliance said Ms Killian was one of the highest paid local government bosses in Britain.

'Challenges of role'

"There's no justification for such high salaries in local government," said a spokesman.

In April, the alliance said its research showed that more than 1,000 council bosses earned more than £100,000 a year and at least 16 earned more than Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who earns a £194,000 salary.

A spokesman said: "Essex County Council pays a fair price given the responsibilities, complexity and challenges of this role."

He argued that the council needed "quality people" and added: "As chief executive of two local authorities Joanna Killian in the last two years has delivered savings worth a total of £98.5m."

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