Humberside

North East Lincolnshire Council offers £70,000 cuts job

A council is advertising a job with an annual salary of £70,000 to oversee the implementation of its spending cuts.

North East Lincolnshire Council say the 'Future Shape Programme Manager' will lead a team tasked with making £9m of £27.9m worth of cuts required.

The need for the post, at a time when many councils are slashing budgets and cutting staff, has been questioned by an MP and the Taxpayers' Alliance.

The council said it had to "invest in the right people" to deliver changes.

The salary for the one-year, full-time post is £70,189.

The job is part of the council's Future Shape project, which it describes as "an exciting programme setting out the council's vision to be a commissioning, enabling and facilitating organisation".

'Bizarre title'

Cleethorpes MP Martin Vickers said he felt the council had "scored a massive own goal" in creating the post.

He said: "It's a big operation and they are struggling to meet the demands of the public... but they have an experienced management team in place and have known for at least two years that there were going to be drastic reductions in spending.

"The senior management team should have been preparing for this within their own ranks, rather than recruiting someone with a bizarre title and a large salary."

Andrew Allison of the Taxpayers' Alliance, a lobby group which campaigns for lower taxes, said: "It sounds like a heck of a lot of money to be spending just to try and save money.

"It's rather like something from Yes Minister, where the department hired more staff to find out if the department was over staffed. It's completely ridiculous."

Liz Jones, deputy chief executive of North East Lincolnshire Council, said: "Over the next couple of years it is the Future Shape programme of projects that will enable us to deliver the change required in times of unprecedented financial challenge.

"We have to invest in the right people to deliver this programme because it is crucial that we don't fail.

"These are difficult times for everyone in local government and we have to have the best team in place to see us through the turbulent years.

"Unlike local authorities who have engaged expensive private consultants, we are doing this with our own staff and recruiting to this in-house team."

The £9m worth of cuts are required over four years.

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