BLACKBURN with Darwen Council gave seven senior staff total pay packages worth more than £100,000 a year in 2018/19 - a drop of four on the previous year.

Lancashire County Council also saw a drop from 15 to 11 bosses on six figure salaries.

The figures were produced by the TaxPayers' Alliance campaign group which showed that in 2018/19 there were 2,667 council employees who received total remuneration - including pay, pension conributions, expenses and allowances - in excess of £100,000, 226 more than 2017-18.

Its annual Town Hall Rich List revealed that Hyndburn and Pendle Councils had two six figure earners, Ribble Valley three and Rossendale one. Burnley had none.

Top of the Blackburn with Darwen Council list was former chief executive Harry Catherall who took home £180,000.

He retired a year ago and his job was taken by deputy Denise Park, who received £151,000 in 2018/19. She was not directly replaced saving the council £130,000 annually.

The other £100,000 plus employees were director of public health Dominic Harrison; director of legal services David Fairclough, director of environment Martin Eden, and director of adult care Sayyed Osman; and director of finance Louise Mattinson.

Cllr Phil Riley, council deputy leader, said: "These figures reveal Blackburn with Darwen is a very well-run authority delivering effective services and value for money. It seems an odd moment for the Taxpayers Alliance to put out this when council staff are working so hard and such long hours because of coronavirus."

Top earner at Lancashire County Council was chief executive Angie Ridgwell with a package of £206,728 while executive director for adult services health and wellbeing Louise Taylor received £160,243.

Nine other directors took home between £109,267 and £152,500.

County council leader Cllr Geoff Driver said: "We restructured out senior management team and these figures show that it is delivering streamlined and effective services."

Cllr Azhar Ali, leader of the opposition Labour group, said: "Lancashire is the county's third largest local authority. It pays good salaries to get the best officers."

Hyndburn Borough paid chief executive David Welsby a total of £148,807 and his deputy Jo McIntyre £118,043.

Cllr Miles Parkinson, leader of the council, said: "They are very experienced and capable officers and paid accordingly."

Ribble Valley Council paid long-serving chief executive Marshal Scott £130,887 and two other senior officers £107,004 and £100,066.

Pendle Council paid chief executive Dean Langton £116,858 and corporate director Philip Mousdale £107,906, according to the TPA.

Rossendale Council chief executive Stuart Sugarman received £119,574.

John O'Connell, TPA chief executive, said:“These figures shine a light on the town hall bosses who’ve got it right, but allow taxpayers to hold to account those who aren’t delivering value for money.”