Row over £1,000-a-day Lancashire education boss

Lancashire County Council
Lancashire County Council

A row has broken out over a claim that Lancashire’s interim education chief is being paid £1,125 a day at a time the County Council is being forced to make £11m in cuts.

The claims came from the opposing Labour group as the post of the county council’s new Executive Director of Education and Children’s Services remains unfilled.

Labour claims council chiefs have now decided under urgent business to pay £1,125 a day to an interim Executive Director for an undetermined period. It is understood the new interim boss starts next week.

The disclosure came as the county council’s cabinet approved £11m of proposed cuts to go out to public consultation before a February meeting.

LCC savings proposed range from cutting property maintenance, to ending grants to voluntary and community organisations and raising fees for NoW travel card holders.

Labour deputy group leader Coun John Fillis said the payment to the interim education chief could cost the people of Lancashire at least £300,000 a year.

Coun Fillis said: “This is all part of the Conservative shabby senior management restructuring, which they have tried to hide behind savage cuts to local services.”

The row comes just days after aspects of the county’s special educational needs and disability (SEND) provision were labelled “alarmingly poor” by inspectors.

But Coun Geoff Driver, leader of the council, said the SEND report on the previous Labour administration had been damning and the council had needed to act.

He said the urgent decision to approve the money was made by the chief executive, not himself.

Coun Driver said it was vital in the light of the SEND report that an interim appointment was made and that steps were made to improve the service,

He could not comment on the salary, but the council had to “pay the going rate” to the interim executive director.

Coun Driver added: “This is far too important an issue for children and young people in Lancashire for Coun Fillis to use it to play political games.”