An analysis of the accounts published by 128 of the largest councils in England and Wales has found that almost 70 per cent of town hall bosses earned more than David Cameron's £142,000 salary last year, while nearly half of them took home more than £200,000.
Of the 25 highest paid council chiefs, 16 were given pay rises. The highest paid is Joanna Killian, joint chief executive of Essex and Brentwood councils, who received £289,143, an increase of £4,000.
She previously promised to cut her pay by 5 per cent.
Essex county council's draft accounts for 2010-11 disclose that while Miss Killian's basic salary fell by £4,000, she received a £6,900 bonus payment, £815 in expenses and a £4,021 pension contribution.
Her pay package rose as Tory-led Essex council announced that 450 jobs were to be cut as it struggled to find savings of £98 million.
The council has faced controversy after announcing plans to close 12 youth centres and cut library hours.
A spokesman said that by acting as chief executive of two councils Miss Killian ultimately saved taxpayers money.
The second highest-paid council boss in Britain last year was Geoff Alltimes, who received a total of £281,666 for his role as the chief executive of Hammersmith and Fulham borough council and the local primary care trust, according to the draft accounts.
Despite a pay freeze across the council, Mr Alltimes took home £11,193 more last year than he earned in 2009 after receiving a supplementary payment for acting as returning officer in the local and general elections. Not in his own time, but in the working hours for which he was already being paid.