AN MP has condemned the “absolutely outrageous”

scale of salaries paid to senior public sector officials and those with “non-jobs”

at a time when cuts were being made to services.

David Amess, Conservative MP for Southend West, used a Commons adjournment debate to rail against total packages paid to executives on his patch and questioned the relationship between senior officials and chairmen of local authorities.

Mr Amess criticised the departing chief executive of Southend Hospital, Jacqueline Totterdell, for the £20,000 pay increase she received on her £175,000-a-year salary.

He also took a swipe at former chief executive at South Essex Partnership Trust, Dr Patrick Geoghegan, who received a salary of £217,500 as well as £32,500 in employers’ pension contributions.

Mr Amess said: “What I am increasingly angered by is the way public sector governance and executive pay is not working.

“I am sick to death of the relationship between chief executives and the chairmen of local authorities. There seems to be in all sectors a very cosy relationship and no rigorous scrutiny whatsoever.

“The salaries paid to the executive directors are in many cases absolutely outrageous and unjustifiable.”

Mr Amess added: “I have identified a number of unnecessary jobs in the public sector, such as the overpaid commercial director, position at Southend hospital and the executive director of strategy and business development, at the trust.”

The trust said its board of directors’ remuneration committee was comprised of independent, non-executive directors of the trust and had responsibility for reviewing and setting executive and senior manager salaries.

A spokesman said: “In setting salary levels the committee balances the need to attract, retain and motivate directors of the required quality.

“It also ensures salaries are in line with equivalent roles in comparable foundation trusts.

“As a public sector body we continually review our spend from the public purse. Consequently, when our new chief executive took up her post in September 2013, she undertook a rigorous review of executive director numbers on the board.

“This resulted in a reduction of three posts – executive director of strategy and business development, executive director of corporate affairs and customer service and executive director of social care and partnerships.”