Shropshire

Shropshire Council launches search for MD

Shropshire Council has advertised for a managing director to lead its new authority-owned company.

The Conservative-led council plans to move more than 1,700 of its staff into a private holding company.

The authority said it would improve efficiency and allow staff to generate a profit that could be reinvested in the county.

The firm will be led by a managing director on an £80,000 salary, as well as a performance-related bonus.

Council Leader Keith Barrow said he had faced pressure from senior officers at the local authority to advertise the post for at least £130,000 to attract the right candidate.

'Salaries peaked'

He said: "I want someone who isn't motivated by money, I want somebody who is interested in Shropshire and quite frankly I think £80,000 a year is a pretty sizable salary.

"Let's turn this around. You can pay a big fat salary and get Bob Diamond.

"I think salaries in local government have gone up and up and up and I think they've peaked.

"It's about time someone tried to break the mould of massive salaries in the public sector."

The new holding company, named IP&E is thought to be the first of its kind in the country, after legislation was recently changed to allow local councils to make a profit.

About 1,700 council staff from services such as catering, cleaning, facilities management, printing, finance, personnel, legal and IT are expected to be the first to transfer to the new company.

After performing duties for Shropshire Council they will be expected to compete for contracts at other public sector and private organisations.

Mr Barrow denied accusations on Twitter that the council already had a candidate in mind.

He added that senior officers would be unlikely to apply as they were already earning more money.

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