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More than 2,500 town hall staff were paid over £100,000 last year, research has shown.
Despite the number earning in six figures falling by 11% between 2011 and 2012, 103 councils were still employing more staff on that level than before, the TaxPayers' Alliance said.
It added that one executive was handed almost £600,000.
A Local Government Association spokesman has defended a report listing the highest paid town hall staff.
They said pay for senior staff has to provide "good value for taxpayers while ensuring the recruitment and retention of staff with the right skills".
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Figures from the TaxPayer's Alliance have shown that more than 2,500 town hall staff were paid over £100,000 last year.