Crawley Borough Council shaved £500,000 from its middle management wage bill in a year, according to research.
The council employed 34 people on more than £50,000 in 2010/11 but this dropped to 23 in 2011/12, according to the research by the Taxpayers’ Alliance.
It spent £1.7m on managers paid more than £50k in 2011/12 - down £505,000 on the previous year.
Meanwhile Reigate and Banstead Borough Council increased its middle management wage bill by £780,000 during the same period.
Forty-five staff were paid £3m in 2011/12, the research found.
West Sussex County Council slashed its wage bill for middle managers by £1.5m. The county council’s wage bill for staff earning more than £50,000 was £17.5m in 2011/12 after cutting 41 posts.
The figures include staff who had a one-off redundancy payments which pushed them into the bracket above £50,000 but who have now left the council.
Cllr Michael Brown, West Sussex County cabinet member for finance and resources, told a full council meeting the overall number of full time staff at the the council had reduced by 1,500 to 4,828.
A county council spokeswoman said: “The county council has reduced many layers of middle management as part of its drive for efficiency savings.
“This in turn has enabled the council to maintain frontline services and inject new money into other services and schemes.”
A Crawley Borough Council spokesman said: “Staff reductions were made to reduce money spent on salaries.”
Reigate and Banstead Borough Council said it had reduced its salary budget since 2007/8 and was implementing efficiency savings. A spokeswoman said: “The council is progressing a range of measures to deliver revenue savings and ensure that we are financially sustainable while we seek to maintain services despite the reduction in grant support.”