Town boss rakes in fat salary of �247k

ESSEX County Council's chief executive is one of the highest paid in the country earning a total of �247,000, it has been revealed.

Annie Davidson

ESSEX County Council's chief executive is one of the highest paid in the country earning a total of �247,000, it has been revealed.

Joanna Killian, who is also boss of Brentwood Borough Council, joined the county council in 2005 and was appointed chief executive in September the following year.

Her salary includes an extra �10,000 for running the Brentwood council as well as Essex. She also took home a bonus of �15,000 last year.

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In May last year there was nationwide fury as it emerged Andrea Hill, chief executive of Suffolk County Council was being paid �220,000.

Now it appears Ms Killian is on �27,000 more - and a staggering �47,000 more than the prime minister.

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Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the Taxpayers' Alliance, said yesterday said it was “completely unacceptable”.

He added: “There's absolutely no justification for such high salaries in local government and it goes to show that the small cartel of council chief executives are really taking local rate payers for a ride.

“Any small businessman has been having to make savings during the recession and public servants should be doing likewise to make sure that tax levels don't go too high.

“The Taxpayers' Alliance is bringing out its local public sector rich list soon and it shows that the top public sector jobs at the moment are going up between five-10% annually.

“People do find it incredible that these council chief executives could be paid as much as one of the city whizz kids working for a hedge fund.”

Essex County Council denied Ms Killian was the highest paid town hall boss in the country and say she has delivered savings worth over �100million.

They also invited the East Anglian Daily Times to spend a day with the chief executive.

A spokesman for the council said: “Joanna Killian as chief executive of one of the largest authorities in Britain has in the last two years delivered savings worth a total of �98.5m with an additional �30m this year.

“Over the next three years she will oversee the largest value for money programme of any council in the history of local government saving some �300m by 2012.

“At the same time council tax increases will be pegged to below inflation for the next four years as they have been for the last two.

“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.

“Essex County Council is happy for any reader of the East Anglian to come in and spend a day with the chief executive, or any other senior manager to learn more of the role of the council and the programme to save �300m that we are embarked upon.”

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