THREE board members of the new company running children’s services in the county will be paid an "eye-watering" £500 a day, it has been revealed.

Worcestershire County Council has promised a £500 daily rate for three non-executive board members on the new 'wholly-owned' company Worcestershire Children First which will run children's social care fully from October.

For the first two years, the £60,000 for the three board member’s salary would be provided by the Department for Education (DfE) but it would be up to the council to put up the money thereafter.

Cllr Fran Oborski, chairman of the council’s children and families overview and scrutiny panel, said she thought the fee was “eye-watering” and would like to see the evidence which shows £500 a day is an acceptable amount.

Councillor Richard Udall said it was “morally bankrupt” to offer £500 a day and questioned why the council could not offer the role to a volunteer for free.

He said: “Nobody should be paid £500 a day in local government, especially when the same county council is unable to pay the living wage to our lowest paid employees and continues to have many staff on zero hour contracts.

“It is morally bankrupt for a Tory council to offer to pay so much and then offer so little to our lowest paid.”

A county council spokesman said: “We are under statutory direction from the Department for Education to move services to a different delivery model to help sustain improvement.

“The development of a wholly owned council company called Worcestershire Children First will provide an alternative way of delivering these services meaning there will be even more focus on improving services for children and young people in Worcestershire.

“The non-executive directors will bring proven experience of driving improvement and achieving successful change, particularly through a board environment to improve the safety and well-being of children and young people across Worcestershire.”

The council said it is confident the board will be appointed by April, during the company’s trial period, and certainly filled by October when it goes fully live.