By Beth Sharp Wednesday 04 December 2013 Updated: 04/12 14:28
WORCESTERSHIRE County Council's Labour leader has said his group would not be part of the process to appoint a new chief executive unless cross-party talks could be arranged to discuss the salary.
Coun Peter McDonald has labelled the amount for the role, expected to between £151,000 and £171,000, depending on the applicant's experience, 'unjustifiably' high and said taxpayers should not have to foot that bill for one person in these tough economic times.
He said he hoped a cross-party talk would help to work out a compromise on a fairer wage so savings could be made and used towards protecting more vital frontline services.
He added if Coun Adrian Hardman, the leader of Worcestershire County Council, did not agree to the meet to work out a solution, the Labour group would not support the appointment of the new chief executive.
"The good days are gone where the county can afford to allow such high salaries.
"If the local government continues to pay that amount of money, people will start to lose confidence in their elected councillors and the local authority because they are not acting as a part of the real world where such high salaries cannot be justified."
Coun Adrian Hardman said: "We need a captain to steer the ship on.
"The county council's administration considered the option (of not having a chief executive) but a decision has been made by the appointments panel to recruit to the post.
"We remain committed to doing all we can to protect frontline services as our funding decreases, but we also need to attract and retain high calibre staff to enable us to do this."
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