Yorkshire councillor ‘disgusted’ at council’s job ad with £82,000 salary

Matt Walker, Knaresborough West. (Photo: Matt Walker, Knaresborough West.)
Matt Walker, Knaresborough West. (Photo: Matt Walker, Knaresborough West.)

Matt Walker, who represents Knaresborough West for the Liberal Democrats, tweeted this morning about the council’s advert for a head of operations role in its waste collection team, which comes with a salary of between £73,755 and £82,065 plus a relocation package.

According to a report due before the council’s executive next week, North Yorkshire Council is facing a budget shortfall of £30m its first year and unless savings are found, £105 million will be need to be used from the council’s reserves over the next three years.

Coun Walker tweeted: “North Yorkshire Council predicting a deficit of millions - I’m disgusted that a job with this salary is been advertised. So much for savings.”

The tweet from Coun Walker. (Photo: Matt Walker, Knaresborough West.)
The tweet from Coun Walker. (Photo: Matt Walker, Knaresborough West.)

The new unitary council took over household bin collection from Harrogate Borough Council and waste disposal from North Yorkshire County Council when it was created in April.

The job advert says the successful applicant “will play a key role in bringing together and harmonising the council’s waste collection and street scene services across the county.”

In a follow up tweet about the job advertisement, Coun Walker described the role as a “whole new level of bureaucracy”.

He added: “We were sold the unitary on efficiencies and economies of scale. We don’t have enough waste collectors to collect our rubbish/recycling and a street cleaner is rarer than a unicorn.”

In response, Coun Carl Les, the Conservative leader of North Yorkshire Council told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “I’m disappointed with these remarks. Coun Walker is clearly chasing a headline without understanding the issue. We will find efficiencies and savings in the new single council’s operation, and this is a good example.

“We are rationalising six previous posts, and are now recruiting one manager for the whole county. Far from knocking the service that colleagues work hard to deliver, Coun Walker should be pleased that there will be a single head ensuring that these vital and well-demanded functions will be managed to the best of our ability.”