£219k of YOUR cash awarded to Derbyshire County Council’s former chief

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The former chief executive of Derbyshire County Council received a “golden handshake” of £219,000 when he left the authority, it has emerged.

A taxpayers’ group has blasted the payout awarded to Nick Hodgson upon his departure from the council in June 2013.

A year later, the details of Mr Hodgson’s severance package have finally been revealed in the authority’s annual accounts.

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “Derbyshire residents will be astounded by the huge scale of the payout.

“It is especially galling at a time when frontline services are trying to find long-overdue savings.

“The size of the payout is totally inappropriate and shows a complete disconnect between the political class and the people they represent.”

Mr Hodgson was chief executive for 16 years.

Council leader Councillor Anne Western said: “Mr Hodgson’s work helped the county achieve a great deal and we thank him for his committed service.”

She added it was now vital that the authority – which needs to slash £157million from its budget by 2018 because of Government cuts – continued to focus on the challenges ahead.

Three months after Mr Hodgson left the council amid mysterious circumstances, the Derbyshire Times submitted a Freedom of Information request to the authority about why he exited his £152,000 role and details of any payout to him upon his departure.

But the council controversially failed to answer our questions, saying Mr Hodgson had entered into an agreement which meant the terms of his exit would “remain confidential”.

Cllr Western said: “It was always understood that the figure paid to Mr Hodgson would be published in the annual accounts and we are pleased to be able to do this today.”

However, it is still not clear exactly why Mr Hodgson left the authority.