£54,000 spin chief recruited by cash strapped Wolverhampton City Council
A council that is slashing 2,000 jobs and cutting £123 million in spending has taken on a spin chief on a salary of up to £54,000 a year.
Wolverhampton City Council appointed Ian Fegan as its head of communications in April, just after a budget came into effect that imposed swingeing cuts on services and slashed the opening hours of libraries.
The Labour-run council has also closed most of its youth clubs and introduced Sunday and night time parking charges to try to cope with severe reductions in Government grants.
Keith Ireland, strategic director of delivery said: "We are restructuring our marketing communications team to save £250,000 a year and make it more efficient.
"Posts within the team, including managers, are being reduced as part of the restructure and we have recruited a head of communications to run the smaller team.
"This is a critical role at a time when, more than ever, the city needs to market itself with the aim of attracting jobs and investment in a competitive environment."
What do you think of the appointment? Have your say in the comments below.
The council advertised for the role last October but it was six months before Mr Fegan started the job.
According to the job advert is will have to promote a 'culture of continuous improvement and customer focus, in line with our vision to become a confident and capable council'.
But opposition Conservatives have questioned the decision to fill the post, which had been vacant since May 2013 when Phil Chapman left after 10 months in the role.
Conservative leader Councillor Wendy Thompson said: "When people are being made redundant the council should think very carefully about filling a post that attracts a high salary.
"It's interesting that they see this as a high priority.
"I don't think there are many residents who would agree that they need this when they had a perfectly reasonable communications department that has never had a problem getting its message across."