As council's continue to face hefty cutbacks and redundancy programmes the latest town hall rich list shows one chief excutive from the region walked away with almost £400,000 last year.
Gateshead's Roger Kelly came in at number seven in the top 10 highest renumerated council executives in the country as he retired last year.
The authority stressed the figure included his pension payout accrued over 25 years and that its senior management costs are actually coming down.
But the Taxpayer's Alliance insists the figure is still too much.
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A dry day with bright or sunny spells. Rain comes through overnight into Sunday morning, before drier yet fresher weather develops
A look ahead at the forecast for the Tyne Tees region.
A businessman who ran three international export companies from his County Durham home has been jailed after an investigation by HMRC