The new chief executive of the Peak District National Park Authority could earn £10,000 more than their predecessor, it has emerged.
Members of the authority met in Bakewell on Monday to agree its new head should receive a starting salary of £80,000, eventually progressing to £85,000.
The authority’s current chief executive – who earns £75,435 – is to leave the top job at the end of the year after 11 years in the role.
The salary for the new chief executive is slightly below the average when compared to pay for other national park heads.
Councillor Damien Greenhalgh, a member of the authority, said: “At a time of cuts and job losses, we need to be careful about the message we’re sending out with this salary.”
Cllr Norma Hawkins described it as a “modest” increase. “I’ll admit I was shocked when I found out the figure,” she added.
Martin Denny, of the Local Government Association, said: “I think it’s important we’re able to go to the market to get the best person for the job.”
Members of the authority also agreed that the job description for the new chief executive should be updated before the role is advertised.
The authority is expected to receive a recommendation on the appointment of its new chief executive at the start of December.
Three national parks pay more than £90,000 for their chief executives while two have a starting salary below £75,000. Announcing his resignation last month, Mr Dixon said he wanted to take up fresh challenges.