A row has broken out over City of York Council’s management costs – as a new senior role is created.
The opposition Labour Group says the shake-up shows that the costs continue to mount following the secret £400K payout to departing chief executive Mary Weastell last year.
After that happened, a management restructure took place with the aim of saving costs.
But now the authority is advertising for another corporate director.
The council had approved the merging of the director for adults and the director for children roles into one £100K-plus job in 2020 as part of an efficiency drive.
But they have failed to appoint someone to the post. They have been told that is because the salary isn’t enough to attract someone with the required experience.
So the council has scrapped that post, and is instead creating two roles, one for adult social care and one for children and education. This will cost an additional £39,000.
Labour Group Leader, Cllr Pete Kilbane said: “The Lib Dem-Green administration has changed its senior structure every year for three years, creating a convincing impression that it has no idea what it is doing.
“Management savings were only agreed to try to balance out the huge costs associated with the removal of the former chief executive, as the disgraced council leader sought to save his own skin.
“It’s now confirmed these savings won’t be delivered as ruling Lib Dem and Green councillors u-turn and move to appoint another ‘corporate director’ on a salary £40k higher than the post it is replacing.
“Part of the justification for this is that it will send a positive signal to Ofsted before its inspection of York’s already criticised children’s services.
“That tells you all you need to know about the way important decisions are being made by ruling councillors, which is week to week and for their own political convenience.”
But Cllr Nigel Ayre, executive member for finance and performance, said: “Rather than recognise the real context of the pressures facing social care services across the country and engage constructively on these challenges, the Labour group are once again failing to look beyond political point scoring.
“Unlike York Labour, we are determined to do everything necessary to ensure that adult and children’s social care services have the capacity, investment and leadership that they need.”
And Cllr Ian Cuthbertson, executive member for children, young people and education, said: “These new posts will enable greater investment in front-line social work and in greater visibility for the needs of children’s and adult social care at a time when demands on social care are simply not being met by the government.”
The proposal will be considered by councillors at a meeting on Tuesday (1 February).