Published: 15:00, 03 February 2010
Exclusive by political editor Paul Francis
Kent County Council chief executive Peter Gilroy is in line for a £200,000 windfall payment when he leaves his job later this year, we can reveal.
Mr Gilroy is to receive the one-off payment in addition to the pension he has built up and any payments or other bonuses he is entitled to.
He will be given the money, subject to tax, on the day he completes his contract and leaves in May.
The decision to agree to pay a £200,000 lump sum was made in 2006 when Mr Gilroy, among the highest paid council chiefs in the country, negotiated a one-year extension to his contract.
Documents leaked to the KM Group reveal the deal was agreed by the authority's cross-party personnel committee following discussions between Mr Gilroy and KCC leader Cllr Paul Carter about whether there should be a year's extension to his contract.
The clause agreeing to the £200,000 was added under a county council scheme permitting allowances to be given where "it is essential to make an additional payment to an individual or group of individuals to secure or retain their services".
According to the report setting out details of the pay-off, Mr Gilroy’s contract had been due to end in May 2009.
But an offer was made to extend that to May this year "to ensure continuity of officer leadership during and immediately after the [next] county council elections in May 2009."
It was because of this that the decision - voted through by KCC’s cross-party but Conservative-dominated personnel committee - was taken to pay him an additional £200,000.
The county council was asked to comment on the agreement but declined to do so.
The news of the payment is bound to trigger renewed anger about the issue of executive salaries in the public sector.
Mr Gilroy's earnings have regularly featured in surveys of the country’s highest paid town hall bosses.
According to the latest available information, he earned £244,000 in 2008, consisting of a basic salary of £207,000 and £31,065 in performance-related pay.
Last year, it emerged that he had "sold" untaken leave for nearly £12,000.
Only last month, we reported how two former senior directors at Kent County Council earned £670,000 between them in a single year after receiving six-figure pay-offs when they left their jobs.