In many cases councils have been saving money sharing chief executives, persuading their chief executive to take a pay cut or where a chief executive has retired ensuring their successor is paid less. Over average the new appointments are paid 19% less than their predecessors

But the Daily Mail highlights some examples where this has not applied. North Tyneside Council increased the pay if its chief executive John Marsden by 13% to £189,021 last year. Newcastle’s chief executive, Barry Rowland pay went up 11% to £163,904. Middlesbrough’s chief executive, Ian Parker, has an 8% rise to £142,650.  Paul Walker, the chief executive of Hartlepool Council a 7% rise to £168,795. Durham’s chief executive George Garlick on £240,000 and Wigan Council’s chief exec also on £240,000 both saw pay rises.

Eric Pickles is keen to encourage authorities to scrap the post altogether, especially when they have opted for an executive Mayor.

He says:

"I am pleased that a majority of chief executives have agreed to make a cut in their salaries. But the issue hasn’t gone away: it is merely a good start. When workers in councils have taken pay freezes, to me it is a question of solidarity.

"I’m not surprised that authorities are now sharing chief executives and I’m absolutely growing interested in authorities that are abolishing the post."