NORTH Ayrshire Council's top five earners coined in over £100,000 each last year, new figures have revealed.

The 'Town Hall Rich List' is compiled by the TaxPayers' Alliance and shows in North Ayrshire, outgoing Chief Executive Elma Murray earned £133,713 with four Executive Directors on a salary of £106,609 per year.

Of the four, Craig Hatton has now replaced Ms Murray as Chief Executive and John Butcher left his position as head of Education and Youth Employment.

Both Karen Yeomans and Laura Friel remain in place as head of Economy and Communities and Finance and Corporate Support.

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. Disappointingly, many local authorities are now responding to financial reality through further tax rises and reducing services rather than scaling back top pay.

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: “The salaries paid to our senior managers, directors and Chief Executive are set nationally and are in line with other local authorities.

“The Scottish Joint Negotiating Committee (SJNC) for Local Authority Services sets the salaries for the Chief Executives of Scottish local authorities. Subsequently, the salaries of the Directors are based on a fixed percentage of the Chief Executive's salary. All of this information is freely available on our website.”