MP questions £80k Wrexham council post

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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