CHESHIRE East Council is on the hunt for another top officer after head of finance Alex Thompson handed in his notice.

Mr Thompson is quitting his role as director of finance and customer service in May to take up the post of executive director for finance and transformation at Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council .

Councillors at tomorrow’s (Tuesday) meeting of the full council will be asked to authorise chief executive Rob Polkinghorne to recruit an interim chief financial officer in consultation with the appointments committee chairs.

They are also being asked to authorise the committee to begin the hunt for a permanent replacement.

This could prove to be yet more unexpected expense for the cash-strapped council if it has to appoint a temporary finance boss via an agency rather than appointing from within as agencies hike up the cost.

Cheshire East recently paid £1,200 a day for temporary chief executive David Parr OBE.

Agency fees took the total daily figure paid by Cheshire East up to £1,380.

In 2019 the council had to appoint an interim monitoring officer on a whopping £1,154 a day.

Sixteen per cent of that went to the recruitment agency.

Councils have to appoint a chief financial officer.

Section 151 of the Local Government Act 1972 states that ‘every local authority shall make arrangements for the proper administration of their financial affairs and shall secure that one of their officers has responsibility for the administration of those affairs’.

A report to tomorrow’s full council meeting states: “Given that the section 151 officer is leaving the council, the costs associated with his employment can be used to fund the proposed interim and permanent appointments.”

The full council meeting takes place on Tuesday, February 27, at 11am at Macclesfield Town Hall.