COUNCIL chief executives are continuing to receive six-figure salaries as Government cutbacks hit public services.
The top officers at Surrey County Council and Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) were paid almost £400,000 between them in the last financial year.
County council chief executive David McNulty's pay and pension contributions remained the same in 2011/12 as the previous year, when he received a total of £253,133, though full details of his expenses have not been released yet so the final total is unknown.
MVDC chief executive Darren Mepham received a total of £130,016 in 2011/12, down from £130,919 the year before.
Leatherhead resident Peter Brown told the Advertiser people should not be shocked by the numbers, claiming high rates of pay are necessary to attracted the best candidates for such high-profile jobs.
"I want my local authority to run in the most efficient way and if it costs £130,000 then that's how much it costs," he said.
"As a member of the community I expect Tesco employees to be efficient and paid properly and the same goes for bin collectors and the Mole Valley District Council, so they should be paid properly. What these figures do show is a disparity in public sector pay – the Prime Minister is on around £140,000, it's ridiculous, he should be getting more."
Mr Brown added: "I don't prescribe to this envy politics, it's the performance that needs to be evaluated, it's a very simplistic argument just to say 'that person is paid too much'."
MVDC refused to comment on Mr Mepham's salary, but Surrey County Council defended Mr McNulty's pay package.
A spokeswoman said: "The chief executive has not received a pay increase since he arrived in July 2009, and manages a budget of £1.8 billion and 26,000 staff."