STAFFORDSHIRE’S police and crime commissioner has been accused of wasting taxpayers’ money by creating three jobs in his office with a combined annual wage bill of up to £232,000.
Matthew Ellis, who was elected last November, is poised to recruit a chief of staff earning around £85,000 a year.
He also plans to hire a head of commissioning and partnerships and a head of policy, performance and communications, each of whom will be paid between £64,500 and £73,500 a year.
Horninglow councillor Julian Mott, East Staffordshire Borough Council’s Labour opposition group leader, said: “It’s completely out of touch with ordinary people who can’t imagine having a salary of £85,000 a year. It’s a big waste of taxpayers’ money.”
Mr Ellis, a former Conservative member of Staffordshire County Council, will appear before Staffordshire’s police and crime panel in Stafford on Monday to answer questions about his chief of staff appointment.
Conservative Winshill councillor David Leese, who represents East Staffordshire on the police and crime panel, defended Mr Ellis’s plans: “We are looking for people of the highest calibre and there’s got to be an enticement.
“If Matthew Ellis wants to recruit quality staff, he has to be looking in the same areas as councils and industry, for example, to get people at the right level.”
Mr Ellis, who himself earns £75,000 a year, has previously appointed a deputy police and crime commissioner on an annual salary of £25,000.
He was unavailable for comment yesterday, but has previously defended his recruitment plans by arguing that his office will cost £50,000 a year less to run than the police authority it replaced.
Mr Ellis has also said his team will help save £30 million and that his new chief of staff will effectively replace an outgoing employee earning a similar level to £85,000.