Council bosses have introduced a pay freeze for themselves this coming financial year after it was revealed some of them enjoyed double digit pay rises during the recession.

For the year 2008-09 West Sussex County Council chief executive Mark Hammond took home at least £220,000 – up from a maximum of £199,999 the previous year.

This represents a minimum pay rise of 10.5%.

Although a spokesman for the council would not confirm exact figures he said that the 25 most senior managers had voluntarily asked for a pay freeze for this coming financial year.

The revelation comes as campaign group TaxPayers' Alliance publishes its annual Town Hall Rich List detailing salaries of the country's top council chiefs.

According to figures from the group, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, 33 council executives from local authorities across Sussex earned more than £100,000 during 2008-09.

Other council directors to enjoy double digit pay rises between 2007-08 and 2008-09 include Andrew Ogden, director of law and personnel at East Sussex County Council, with a 13.6% rise from £106,000 to £120,500 and director of adult social care at East Sussex Keith Hinkley, also with 13.6%.

A spokesman for East Sussex County Council, whose incoming chief executive will be on between £165,000 and £181,000, said: “The county council's policy is to pay salaries to all its staff which are in line with the average salaries paid to those doing similar jobs elsewhere in the public sector in the South East.”

Councillor Mark Dunn, chairman of the West Sussex's Governance Committee, said: “We expect to have to pay competitive rates to retain the top quality management skills and talent the people of West Sussex deserve.”

Both East Sussex and West Sussex County Councils would not reveal the exact details of their chief executive's pay.

In contrast Brighton and Hove City Council openly revealed the salary of its chief executive John Barradell who earns £172,470 – the same as predecessor Alan McCarthy.