by political editor Paul Francis
It has been described as the biggest job in local government - but the person who becomes Kent County Council’s next boss could be paid £55,000 less than Peter Gilroy, who leaves the post in May.
The search for a replacement is now underway and the advert for the post reveals the salary on offer is £185,000.
KCC is also changing the title of the post of chief executive to group managing director, saying the change reflects "a subtle difference" from the current job description.
Peter Gilroy’s most recently published earnings indicate he was paid a basic salary of £207,000 supplemented by a performance related bonus of £31,064.
He was in the post for five years.
The salary on offer comes against a backdrop of mounting political pressure and a public outcry over "fat cat" public sector pay packages.
The level at which it has been set means it would not have to be approved by a future Conservative government, as the basic salary is below the Prime Minister's. However, Labour has said that all public salaries above £150,000 will need Treasury approval.
In its advert, KCC leader Cllr Paul Carter says he wants to appoint someone with "star quality" and indicates candidates from outside local government may be considered.
He writes: "I’m looking for a group managing director who is a radical thinker and challenges the orthodoxy. There’s no job bigger in local government...what is essential to me is that you have star quality and an impressive track record of delivering transformational change."
Although the salary on offer has dropped, the successful candidate will enjoy other perks, including 30 days leave plus Bank Holidays and access to a private health scheme. The person will also qualify for help selling and finding a new home if they have to move.
Under the strapline "Different isn’t different for long" the recruitment advert says the managing director "will face the challenge of keeping England’s largest authority at the forefront of modern local government through constantly improving our excellent services and leading 44,000 employees and a budget in excess of £2billion."
Top recruitment consultancy Veredus has been contracted to handle the search and an appointment is expected to be made after final interviews in mid-March.