Up TO 240 managers who are to be made redundant by Wiltshire Council are to share a £5million pay-off.

The job cuts were announced earlier this month in a bid to save £110m over the next four years. They are expected to be rushed through quickly because the council has set aside money from this year’s budget for the pay-offs.

It follows the controversial news that four top council bosses enjoyed a £2m golden handshake when they left their jobs ahead of the merger of the district councils to form the new unitary authority last year.

Keith Robinson, former chief executive of Wiltshire County Council, had a package of £484,832, which included £138,758 of his salary and £322,648 as “compensation for the loss of office”. In his final 12 months of office he earned £506,548.

This week it was revealed he has now become a board advisor to Charteris, a consultancy heavily involved with the formation of the unitary authority last year.

Dr Robinson joined Charteris, a business and IT consultancy, in July.

George Batten, former director for transport, environment and leisure, got an even better redundancy deal scooping £66,905 in compensation for his “loss of office”, £356,732 in pension pay-outs, and a £126,512 salary making a grand total of £558,296.

Outgoing finance chief Sandra Farrington took home £333,153 while former Wiltshire County Council solicitor Stephen Gerrard received £390,738.

Chippenham MP Duncan Hames raised the payouts in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

He said: “I was shocked that the pay-outs were so high. I am now not surprised that the council previously declined to reveal the kind of packages senior officers were getting as a result of the transition to a unitary authority.

“Wiltshire taxpayers will find it hard to understand why someone like Keith Robinson, who didn’t apply to keep the job he had been doing, should receive such a substantial pay-out.”

Council leader Jane Scott has admitted she did not like the deal but it had been forced on her by Government rules. She said: “Under the rules they had wanted us to abolish all the senior roles before appointing new roles for the unitary council which would have cost even more. I fought hard personally to get this changed.

“I didn’t want Keith Robinson to go because he only had 18 months to go on his contract but my hands were tied on the issue. I was told to get rid of him.”

Coun Scott has said that such a lucrative pay-out will not happen again because redundancy terms have been changed since.