Anger over accusation that senior staff cost £800,000

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Council leaders who were yesterday accused of “splashing the cash” by recruiting senior officers at a cost of £800,000 while slashing bin collections waste services and care homes yesterday rounded on their critics.

Sheffield Council’s Labour leadership said their Lib Dem opponents had “got their facts wrong” and claimed they had in fact saved £500,000 by merging roles and cutting the number of highly-paid positions.

The row broke out after the Lib Dem finance spokesman Simon Clement-Jones published figures showing that 14 officers had been recruited to positions since May 2011 on salaries of more than £50,000 a year.

He said: “Labour councillors keep saying they have no alternative but to close local dementia care homes and cut hours at recycling centres.

“Yet here we see Labour agreeing to spend £50,000 on senior managers for ‘commercial services’ and ‘improvement’.

“Instead of splashing the cash in the Town Hall, Labour’s leaders should prioritise the money we do have on the services that matter to local people.”

Coun Clement-Jones also criticised Labour leader Julie Dore for delaying a promised report on highly-paid public servants saying it was supposed to be published last September.

But last night Coun Dore said publication of the review had been delayed because the leadership was “delivering a further £1 million savings on management costs”.

She added: “The Lib Dems have got their facts wrong yet again. It is not true that the council is spending more on new senior managers.

“Labour has cut the number of managers so we have less now than under the Lib Dems and there was a reduction in 11 senior posts last year saving £500,000.

“These appointments have come from replacing vacancies or from jobs being merged to reduce spending on senior management.

“Two senior posts have been created to deliver the Highways PFI, the biggest project in the council’s history to refurbish city roads, which the Lib Dems support.”