Councillors will have to vote in favour of awarding staff salaries of more than £100,000 under government plans announced yesterday.
Eric Pickles, the Local Government Secretary, said he wanted to "democracy proof" the award pay deals of senior executives.
The move, which will be included in the Localism Bill, is the latest of a series of attempts by Mr Pickles to reduce costs in local government. The new legislation will force councils to publish a statement on the pay of chief officers which will be put before the elected chamber for approval. Mr Pickles has already called on chief executives on more than £200,000 to take a 10 per cent pay cut and those earning £150,000 to take a 5 per cent pay cut. The salaries of senior managers are thought to cost more than £600m a year.
But the Local Government Association (LGA) described the initiative as unnecessary. Sir Steve Bullock, chairman of the LGA's Local Government Group Workforce Board, said: "It is right that pay for senior staff in the public sector is subject to scrutiny, but this kind of top-down interference is simply unnecessary.
"Councils are leading the way in being transparent about all their spending, and many authorities already have remuneration committees. We look forward to hearing from ministers whether MPs will be asked to approve the salaries of civil servants earning more than £100,000."