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17 March 2011, 00:01
The report from the TaxPayers' Alliance shows 45 council workers across Essex earned more than £100,000 last year.
Eleven of those even took home more than the Prime Minister David Cameron, who chose to take a salary of £142,500.
Meanwhile Essex County Council, Thurrock and Basildon all paid out more than £200,000 for their chief executive posts.
Joanna Killian, who runs the County Council, was paid the highest here at £285,152.
Heart's been given the following statement from Essex County Council:
"Joanna agreed to cut her pay by 5% in October 2010 taking her basic salary from £237,000 to £225,000. As Chief Executive of two local authorities, Joanna Killian is saving the taxpayers over £100,000 a year. Brentwood Borough Council pays £30,000 for access to the Chief Executive and other services as opposed paying for their own Chief Executive. Over the next two years she will be responsible for the largest value for money programme at not only Essex County Council, she will also be overseeing the same financial challenges at Brentwood Borough Council. The county council has saved £190M over the last 4 years and is on course to save a further £90M in 2010/11 and a further £90M in 11/12. Essex County Council pays a fair price given the responsibilities, complexity and challenges of this role, and needs quality people to bring about this massive change."
A spokeman for Thurrock Council said: "The figure quoted in the report relates to a period when an interim consultant filled the chief executive position and who was brought in to make significant improvements following a poor inspection rating by the Audit Commission. The post is now filled on a permanent basis with an annual salary of £175,00"
Basildon Council Leader Tony Ball's told Heart: "This information is not new, as Basildon Council publishes details of the salaries and other payments of its Strategic Management Team on its website annually.
"Basildon Council is one of the largest and most diverse Borough councils in the country that provides a wide range of statutory and discretionary services to 170,000 residents and other key stakeholders.
"The Council is also engaged in some of the biggest and most extensive regeneration projects across the county valued around £1.5 billion.
"The variety of this work and the services that the Council provides requires the highest calibre of senior staff, with salaries that reflect that."
You can find out how much council leaders where you live have been paid on the Town Hall Rich List 2011.