THE number of elections in recent years has meant a bumper payout for Fife Council chief Steve Grimmond. 

With referendums, general elections and council elections, the Scottish Government pays each returning officer a fee on top of their actual salary.

That has meant, because of additional votes such as referendums for the Scottish Independence and Brexit, payments made since 2014 have totalled £71,759.

The cash doesn't go directly to the chief executive and some of the fee may be allocated to other staff.

Fife Council's head of democratic services, Linda Bissett, said the chief executives of all 32 Scottish local authorities act as Returning Officers for their areas.

"Payment for these duties is made and decided by the government," she said.

"In each case, the payment is shared with the depute returning officer.

"Payments for returning officers at council elections and the salaries of chief executives are set by COSLA as part of a national collective agreement with the relevant trades unions and representative bodies. COSLA advise of any updates." 

In 2014/15, a total of £28,911.70 was paid while the fee the following year was £17,684.04. In 2016/17, the payout was £25,159.89 while the 2017 council elections resulted in a payment of £4,247.25.