The number of staff at South Tyneside Council who earn over £100,000 a year in salary and other benefits has fallen, new figures show.
The Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) found that there were eight people taking home combined six-figure in 2015/16 - compared to 10 in 2014/15.
A spokeswoman for South Tyneside Council said that four council officers earned more than £100,000 from their salary alone.
She said: “South Tyneside Council has more than halved the number of officers with combined earnings of over £100,000 in recent years as part of our planned reduction in management costs.
“Already the council has lost 33 per cent of its workforce which includes 200 managerial posts.
“South Tyneside is a high-performing council.
“Competitive salaries are paid to attract and retain talented individuals who undertake complex roles to deliver regeneration and jobs, protect vulnerable adults and children and provide value-for-money services to our residents.”
John O’Connell, TPA chief executive, said: “The average council tax bill has gone up by more than £900 over the last 20 years.
“Disappointingly, many local authorities are now responding to financial reality through further tax rises and reducing services rather than scaling back top pay.
“Despite many in the public sector facing a much-needed pay freeze to help bring the public finances under control, many town hall bosses are continuing to pocket huge remuneration packages, with the number of people on six-figure deals actually going up since last year.”
Coun Claire Kober, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Resources Board, defended the work of those on councils.
She said: “Councils are large, complex organisations with sizeable budgets and responsibility for delivering more than 700 services, including caring for the elderly and vulnerable and protecting children.
“It is important that the right people with the right skills and experience are retained to deliver this work.
“Local government is committed to providing value for money to taxpayers and, nationally, incoming chief executives are being paid lower salaries than their predecessors’ and average chief executive salaries continue to decline year-on-year.
“The pay of senior council staff is set by politically proportionate committees of elected councillors and is open to a high level of scrutiny and democratic accountability as a result.”