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New council chief will receive £90,000

THE person chosen to become the new chief executive of Ashford Borough Council stands to earn £91,000 a year. A recruitment advert for the post says the borough is searching for someone who is an outstanding leader and a “dynamic, confident and diplomatic figure".

In return for being able to “to drive forward our vision for the future of the borough” in what is described as the gateway to Europe, the successful applicant will be rewarded with a salary of between £77,676 and £85,357.

With a car allowance of more than £4,000, the new chief executive, who will be in charge of a £10million budget and be responsible for 560 full and part time staff, will be earning comfortably more than most cabinet ministers.

The position of chief executive became vacant after the recent death of Alan Baker, who had worked for the borough since 1988. However, the salary is not regarded as excessive in local government circles.

The current chief executive of Kent County Council, for example, earns £159,000 a year while the recently appointed chief executive of Thanet receives a salary of more than £80,000.

In a letter inviting applicants for the job, council leader Paul Clokie says: “Ashford is on the verge of a very exciting time. We expect our current expansion rate of 700 houses a year to 1,600 houses per annum. This will produce considerable challenges for all our staff as well as our councillors.”

The council has appointed specialist recruitment consultants to handle the appointment of a new chief executive. A shortlist is expected to be drawn up on December 21 with formal interviews taking place on January 11.

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