CASH-strapped Cheshire East Council is paying a whopping £1,298 a day for its new temporary director of finance. 

Adele Taylor was appointed to the role of S151 officer on an interim basis following the resignation of Alex Thompson, who quit to take up a post at Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council last month.

Ms Taylor is expected to be in post for approximately six months.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service can reveal, of that £1,298 cost to the council, Ms Taylor is paid a daily rate of £1,100 and she will work five days a week.

The remaining £198 each day goes to the recruitment agency and what the council described as ‘other role costs including pension, apprenticeship levy and other transaction fees’.

Adele TaylorAdele Taylor (Image: Cheshire East Council)

The weekly cost to the council for the new finance boss will be £6,490.

This amounts to £25,960 a month – based on four weeks in a month.

The council will have to stump up £155,760 over the six-month period if it doesn’t find a permanent finance officer in that time and is forced to stick with a temporary appointment.

All councils must have a S151 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’.

This latest temporary appointment is the second in the past year where the council has had to pay in excess of £1,000 a day for a top ranking officer.

David Parr OBE  (Image: Halton Borough Council)

David Parr OBE was contracted at a daily rate of £1,200 when he was appointed as interim chief executive – although agency fees meant the cost to Cheshire East Council was actually £1,380 a day.

Mr Parr was in post for a few weeks after Dr Lorraine O’Donnell quit to go to Bradford Council and before Rob Polkinghorne was appointed as the new permanent top boss at Cheshire East.

Mr Parr worked three days a week.

All this heaps pressure on Cheshire East which, like most councils, is facing a financial crisis.

In a bid to balance the books over the next financial year, the council is planning a number of cuts and price hikes including the ‘temporary’ closure of three tips, an increase in parking charges and a rise in the green bin charge.

The LDRS understands four libraries – Alderley Edge, Bollington, Disley and Handforth – are also are under threat of closure.