Freedom of Information requests have revealed that Bristol City Council has paid off more than 120 staff with ‘gagging orders’.
The clauses – which are usually part of a severance payment - prevent staff from speaking out about their former employer after they no longer work there.
Charlotte Leslie, MP for Bristol North West, has said the practice must end as it is preventing former employees with legitimate complaints about the council to speak out.
According to reports, one former boss of the Serious Fraud Office received £462,000 and signed a confidentiality agreement.
In a survey of 256 councils in Britain, the figure for Bristol is the second highest in the country.
West Somerset council is so financially stretched that its very future is in doubt, according to a confidential report seen by this programme.
The council, one of the smallest in the country, will have to make savings over the next two years, but after that faces a merger with other authorities, it says.
The report, by the Local Government Association, says the sparsely-populated area is facing a growing budget deficit which means that it will not be able to provide even minimum standards of service in the future. Various options are proposed, including sharing services with other councils.
West Somerset say tey'll consider the report next month.
Tough guidelines to protect members of the public from overzealous charity street collectors have been introduced in Gloucester.
They're now banned from the city centre two days a week and will face tighter rules when they ARE allowed to operate. It follows complaints to the council.
Vulnerable children have been put at risk by inadequate child services in Wiltshire, according to Ofsted. The inspection in March found serious shortcomings in child protection. Of 92 cases selected at random, 17 had to be sent back for review.
Wiltshire Council admits the findings were "not good enough" and has put in an extra 500 thousand pounds to address the failings. You can read the full inspection report here