Council seeks £197k chief executive
A city council has defied the Government's crackdown on high public sector pay by recruiting a new chief executive on up to £197,500.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said the salary level - £55,000 more than the Prime Minister earns - showed Liverpool City Council was "out of touch".
But the Labour authority's leader, Joe Anderson, said the package would actually save it tens of thousands of pounds a year.
The previous chief executive, Colin Hilton, who retired in June, was paid more than £200,000 plus performance-related bonuses. His successor will get a lower salary, and no bonuses.
"Clearly these are going to be very difficult times for local government so it is important that we recruit an outstanding person with the skills and leadership qualities to take the city forward during a harsh financial climate," Councillor Anderson said.
"We believe we are offering a very attractive salary and I am confident that there will be a lot of interest from high-calibre candidates who want to lead the city through challenging times."
The post is expected to be filled by October.
Mr Pickles insisted: "Once again, another Labour council hasn't got the memo about public sector pay restraint.
"Shelling out taxpayers' cash on a bumper pay packet whilst the rest of the country is struggling in this tough economic climate shows just how out of touch Liverpool City Council is.
"We need to curb a culture of excess in local government which is why we will require councils to publish more information online on the pay and perks of senior staff, and allow elected councillors to veto high pay packets."