Northamptonshire County Council has been advertising for a new ‘senior role’ with an £80-90,000 salary.
The authority has been criticised recently for failing to give its staff a pay rise, but continuing to hire senior staff on big salaries.
And an entirely new position appears to have been created, after the council advertised for an ‘assistant director to the chief executive’. The position has not existed in that format as of yet according to the latest information on salaries above £50,000 and on the most recent organisational structure chart for the council.
But the authority insists the position is ‘replacing a previous executive support post’ which also has some additional roles in bringing extra support for the programme to replace the county council with two new unitary authority councils in 2021. The new recruit would work alongside chief executive Theresa Grant.
The deadline for applying for the job closed as of Monday (October 21), with the description stating: “It is an exciting, challenging and extremely busy time and we are therefore looking for an Assistant Director to the Chief Executive who will support them in achieving their aims and objectives. Working closely with the Chief Executive you will provide effective strategic assistance and leadership, working collaboratively with the senior leadership team, commissioners, partners and stakeholders across the county. You will assume key responsibilities for projects, communications and activities to enable outcomes to be moved forward at pace and achieved within a complex and changing environment.”
But the move was criticised by Labour county councillor Danielle Stone. She said: “I’m really fed up with them spending so much on this ‘super-structure’ with really expensive top managers, but they have not seen fit to give the staff a pay rise.
“The chief executive has two commissioners and now two children’s commissioners, so you think four commissioners would be enough help.
“We have got all these new positions yet no improvement in our budget position, so it’s not working. What’s going to work to get improvements is recruiting and retaining staff and giving them the motivation to do the best they can.
“And given the track record of people who have come in recently, this new officer will probably come in and won’t last.”