High-earning executives at the umbrella body for town halls have been urged by the Government to set an example to councils by taking a pay cut.
Ministers believe at least 15 bosses at the Local Government Association (LGA) have reward packages of more than 100,000 a year; this includes seven people who are on more than Prime Minister David Cameron's salary of 142,500.
Local Government Minister Grant Shapps has written to LGA chairwoman Baroness Margaret saying that some on six-figure salaries had received pay rises in the past year.
"I think we would both believe this sends out the wrong signal to the public," he said.
His intervention is especially pointed given the LGA's warnings about the impact on councils of cuts in central government funding.
They follow LGA chief executive John Ransford's decision last month to take a pay cut of 200,000 from his previous salary of 245,612.