A town council rich list has revealed that seven Swindon executives raked in over £100,000 in the 2016/17 tax year.

Chief Executive John Gilbert was the biggest earner at Swindon Borough Council having received salary and pension contributions to the tune of £192,904.

Designed as the go-to guide for local government executive pay deals, the TaxPayer Alliance’s national Town Hall Rich List shows many senior managers have done well in tough financial times. The research is offered as a tool for taxpayers who want to judge which authorities are offering the best value for money.

John O'Connell, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “The average council tax bill has gone up by more than £900 over the last twenty years and spending has gone through the roof.

The Adver reported in February that Swindon Borough Council plans to raise council tax in 2018/19 by five per cent.

Mr O’Connell said: “Disappointingly, many local authorities are now responding to financial reality through further tax rises and reducing services rather than scaling back top pay. Despite many in the public sector facing a much-needed pay freeze to help bring the public finances under control, many town hall bosses are continuing to pocket huge remuneration packages.”

Swindon council positions exceeding the £100,000 band in the 2016/17 tax year included the Corporate Director of Communities and Place (Bernie Brannan, £165, 373), the Director of Children Services (David Haley, £129, 802) and the Director of Adult Services (Sue Wald, £129,701). Five employees from the Wiltshire County Council also featured on list.

Nationally, 2,306 council staff bagged earnings above the high band.

According to the PayScale website, the average salary for a resident in Swindon is £25,783.

Swindon Borough Council spokesman, Kevin Burchall, said: “Hundreds of millions of pounds is set to be invested in regeneration and major infrastructure projects within Swindon over the next few years.

“The Council is at the heart of those plans and, at the same time, is responsible for the myriad of services local residents see on a daily basis.

“It is an extremely complex organisation with a net budget of £140m and almost 3,000 employees, which touches all parts of society. In order to drive these priorities and deliver these services as efficiently as possible while coping with unprecedented levels of demand, we need to attract experienced, high calibre individuals and the remuneration they receive has to reflect market rates.

“All our Corporate Management salaries are published on our website and have been benchmarked against similar sized authorities. When compared to senior salaries in the private sector, they provide very good value for money.”