A town hall council chief will receive a payoff worth thousands of pounds to leave her role.

Brighton and Hove City Council’s head of human resources, Charlotte Thomas, receives a salary of up to £85,000 a year.

However, the local authority has paid her an unspecified sum to get her to leave the role.

An announcement was made on the local authority’s internal website this week.

A council spokesman declined to make any further comment adding it did not comment on personnel matters.

Mark Turner, of the GMB union, said: “It’s a sign of the uncertainty there is at senior management level and in the human resources (HR) department.

“It’s not the first time the HR director has been paid off and left the council.

“They’re making this payment when they are cutting frontline staff and frontline staff’s income.

“They should be saving that money and protecting their pay.”

Ms Thomas joined the council in 2009 from Cornwall County Council.

She is the fifth senior member of staff to leave the local authority in recent months after chief executive John Barradell and three strategic directors – David Murray, Charlie Stewart and Terry Parkin – all went.

An announcement on the council’s internal website confirmed Ms Thomas will leave the local authority on October 19 after overseeing the process of recruiting a new chief executive.

Denise D’Souza, the council’s director of adult social care, who will be temporarily responsible for HR, said: “We wish Charlotte all the best for the future and thank her for the drive and enthusiasm that she has brought to the job over the past three years.”

The amount being paid to Ms Thomas is not available as it is deemed “commercially sensitive”.

It comes in the wake of The Argus revealing private experts have been brought in to investigate claims of racial discrimination at the council.

The local authority is paying consultants to look into allegations of unfair treatment of its black and minority ethnic (BME) staff after it received a number of complaints.

In April The Argus also revealed independent experts had ruled the council’s payroll systems for more than 10,000 of its workers were open to a “high level of fraud and error”.

But despite auditors demanding urgent action more than a year later the local authority had still not implemented some of the recommendations.