Coun­cil’s £55k head of strat­egy post ‘un­jus­ti­fied’

Surrey Advertiser - - Front Page -

posted on­line, seeks to re­cruit a “highly po­lit­i­cally as­tute” in­di­vid­ual who will be a “skil­ful net­worker”.

It reads: “Based at the heart of the coun­cil, you will lead our strat­egy team and be a mem­ber of the ser­vice se­nior man­age­ment team.

“On a day-to-day ba­sis you will sup­port the lead­er­ship to make sound, in­formed de­ci­sions and ex­tend the coun­cil’s in­flu­ence.”

The salary of­fered is be­tween £55,484 to £66,644 per year, with a work­ing week of 36 hours.

Coun­cil­lor Hazel Wat­son, leader of Sur­rey Lib Dems, said: “I am very con­cerned that the county coun­cil is re­cruit­ing for such a post in the mid­dle of a fi­nan­cial cri­sis and when ser­vices are be­ing cut and re­dun­dan­cies con­sid­ered. Sur­rey res­i­dents will not un­der­stand the pri­or­i­ties of the rul­ing Con­ser­va­tive group if this well re­mu­ner­ated ap­point­ment goes ahead at the same time as bud­gets for so­cial care, li­braries, tips and roads are be­ing re­duced.”

Mrs Wat­son has writ­ten to coun­cil leader David Hodge to ex­press her con­cerns and has asked him to ex­plain the “ra­tio­nale be­hind the re­cruit­ment”.

She added: “The county coun­cil al­ready has a chief ex­ec­u­tive, deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive and se­nior man­age­ment team – it is clear to me that this strat­egy post is unnecessary at the cur­rent time and sim­ply can­not be jus­ti­fied.”

Mrs Wat­son urged the Tory leader to re­move the post and use the money to “pro­tect vi­tal ser­vices for Sur­rey res­i­dents” in­stead.

An SCC spokesman said: “This is a time when we face huge changes on fund­ing and ser­vice de­liv­ery and have to re­spond to un­prece­dented de­mand for our ser­vices. We need ex­pe­ri­enced peo­ple to help guide the or­gan­i­sa­tion through this pe­riod, but we fully recog­nise the need to se­cure value for money for Sur­rey tax­pay­ers.

“That is why we are re­plac­ing two va­cant posts with just one.”

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