By politics.co.uk staff
Council staff earning over £100,000 will have their salaries publicly approved by councillors, Eric Pickles has announced.
The communities and local government secretary is inserting the provision into the localism bill, currently at committee stage in the Commons.
Councillors will have to approve all pay packages for council officers who earn six-figure salaries. Mr Pickles wants to persuade local authorities to demonstrate they are doing all they can to find savings before cutting frontline services.
"We're passing more powers down to local authorities. This is just part of the checks and balances of giving these additional powers," he told the Today programme.
"It allows every councillor to consciously make a decision with regard to senior pay... it just seems to me to be a reasonable thing to do."
Many councils, like Manchester, have already announced sweeping cuts in order to cope with the reduction in funding from central government, which makes up the vast majority of town halls' revenue.
They will now be required to publish a statement outlining their pay policy for senior staff. Other major pay decisions, including large bonus payments and significant pay rises, could also be included.
Mr Pickles added: "It's a question of leadership - if they take a cut in pay they are demonstrating that they are prioritising frontline services."
Local government funding from Whitehall is falling by 12% in 2011/12, according to the Local Government Association.