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Essex County Council Chief Executive Joanna Killian was the highest paid female local authority leader in the country last year, figures have revealed.
Almost half of council chief executives were paid more than £150,000 last year - more than the Prime Minister, according to research by Incomes Data Services (IDS).
A study of 300 councils in England and Wales showed that pay ranged from £62,000 in West Somerset to almost £300,000 in the London Borough of Wandsworth.
Ms Killian earned £237,000 last year, the report revealed. Essex County Council said its chief executive had agreed to cut her pay by 5%, taking her basic salary from £237,000 to £225,000, covering her roles at both Essex County Council and Brentwood Borough Council.
Only one in five chief executives was female, although pay rates were similar to men, said the IDS report.
The study showed that 43% of local authority chief executives were paid over £150,000 last year, more than the Prime Minister's salary of £142,500, said IDS.