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