A ‘beacon’ to other councils
Council leader Gerry Clarkson also defended the approach, and said the authority had acted as a “beacon” for how things should be done, while keeping council tax as the lowest in the county.
He said the authority currently employed around 400 staff who were paid a living wage or an apprentice wage, while redundancies had been kept to a minimum by seeking voluntary agreements with those approaching the ends of their careers.
Cllr Clarkson said: “We are trying to be the epitome of what a progressive council should be. We have appointed the chief executive internally, but we have several other senior posts which are being advertised nationwide.
“For the last post, we had 32 applicants coming in from as far as Scotland, and we have now taken on consultants to help us get the best people available.
“With our senior posts the aim is to strengthen the structure at the top as there are some tough decisions that have to be made.
“We will of course keep the situation under review, and in 18 months to two years we will see if it is still working, as we have to be on the ball.
“We have to consider the situation and do the best we can.”