David McNulty has defended his £215,000-a-year taxpayer-funded job.
But others have branded Mr McNulty a “town hall tycoon” for paying himself such a high wage during a time of austerity.
Mr McNulty’s pay packet eclipses that of David Cameron, who earns £142,000 a year.
And news of his astronomic salary, which made national headlines at the weekend, comes as his council has increased council tax and announced cuts in an attempt to save money.
Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “Surrey residents will be stunned at the huge salary paid to the head of the council.
“This is more than the Prime Minister and at a time when we’re trying to make savings everywhere else in government so that council tax isn’t wasted, these kind of bumper salaries stick out even more.
“We must crack down on these town hall tycoons and, crucially, make sure taxpayers have the information they deserve to judge whether they’re getting value for money.”
According to a recent report by council officers, funds are stretched. The number of children requiring council services has grown by 18.3 per cent since 2010, while the money invested in the service has decreased by 1.5 per cent in the same period. The spending reduction means £6,372 less is being spent per child than in 2010, a 16.7 per cent drop.
A county council spokesman said: “The chief executive has responsibility for a budget of £1.7bn and he has managed to guide the county council to achieving savings of £260m in the past four years and is now steering it to a further £330m savings by 2019.”