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 lorry driver from Northumberland has been found guilty of trying to smuggle half a million fake pound coins into the UK.
Almost 100 years after a group of trainee teachers arrived at the frontline in Ypres, a County Durham-born historian will tell their story.