North East Wales

MP questions £80k Wrexham council post

Wrexham MP Ian Lucas
Image caption Ian Lucas said he did not understand the need for the post

Wrexham council has been urged to rethink plans to hire a new senior officer on £80,000 a year who would reduce its spending on transport.

Local MP Ian Lucas said he was concerned at the outlay at a time when the authority was making cuts.

The council recently advertised the post of 'temporary programme manager'.

It said the job would involve delivering potential savings of £1m across the authority's entire transport activities.

Mr Lucas said: "I'm concerned because the council employs a number of senior managers on very substantial salaries, some of which are in excess of £100,000.

"I cannot see why they have to recruit an additional manager at a salary of £80,000 a year to perform a task that I think should be within the capability of existing managers.

"At a time when they're talking about imposing cuts in the provision of frontline services, I cannot see how they can justify paying £80,000 on a further administrative member of staff.

"Why aren't the managers themselves, who are employed on very substantial salaries, doing that job in any event? I'm sorry, I don't understand this."

He has written to Wrexham council asking the authority to spell out what the new job entails and questioning if the appointment is necessary.

In a statement, Lee Robinson, the council's strategic and performance director, said: "Wrexham council is continuing to take a proactive approach to the current financial pressures and proposed cuts facing the public sector.

"In January 2010 the executive board commissioned a review of fleet management and maintenance activities.

"This review was extended to cover all transport activities and identified potential savings of almost £1m.

"This post is a temporary, performance-related post and the post holder will be expected to achieve those savings."

But Mr Lucas said he was "absolutely contemptuous" of the council's response and urged it to reconsider.

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