A TEMPORARY council worker hired almost two years ago has been earning nearly £700 a day at an authority trying to save £6 million by cutting jobs.

Cash-strapped Worcestershire County Council hired John Gladman as its ‘interim’ head of IT and digital in February 2018 through private headhunting agency Matric SCM based in Buckinghamshire which boasts of saving councils money.

The supposed short-term appointment comes at a cost of £675 to the county council.

At £175,000 a year, the cost of the temporary position is higher than any of the council’s main directors in charge of children’s services and the council’s finances.

Richard Taylor, head of human resources and organisational development for Worcestershire County Council, said: “Like many other large organisations, Worcestershire County Council makes use of the interim recruitment market to bring in people with specific skills and experiences.

“Often these people are recruited to deliver a project and to support the council’s permanent staff.

“As with any interim post here at the council, the need for the position is reviewed on a regular basis and the salary is competitive in the interim market for this level of position.”

The county council has been using private headhunting firms to fill temporary vacancies that have gone on to last for months and even years.

It was revealed last July that interim director of adult services Avril Wilson was being paid more than £1,000 a day for her services. Ms Wilson left the post in September having joined in February 2018.

It was also revealed in August that the county council’s interim assistant director for education Nick Wilson was being paid £823 a day.

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

Derek Benson, who chairs both of the county’s children’s and adult’s safeguarding boards, was paid more than £75,000 in the last two and a half years, despite only working five days a month.

Mr Benson also claimed almost £4,800 in travel expenses despite taking home more £500-a-day and £600-a-day for each role.

The first part of a plan for a top-to-bottom restructure of the county council in a bid to save £6 million was backed in September.

The move by council bosses would see the authority’s senior leadership cut from 16 roles to 14 and the authority’s head of finance scrapped.