WIRRAL Council has announced the appointment of its new chief executive Eric Robinson on a salary of £175,000.

Mr Robinson, currently deputy chief executive and director for people at Staffordshire County Council, will formally take up post at a date yet to be decided.

Once he settles in, the new boss will have to quickly come to grips with overseeing multi-million pound cuts in the council's budget and a major "remodelling" of staffing structures and salary scales to reduce spending.

The authority advertised for a new chief executive to replace Graham Burgess, who retired at the end of last year.

But Mr Robinson will earn more than his predecessor, with the authority boosting the pay to £175,000 to attract the best person for the job.

Prior to joining Staffordshire County Council in 2005, Mr Robinson was director of social services at Cambridgeshire County Council, and before that, was director of social services at the London Borough of Enfield.

Mr Robinson's Facebook reveals he is originally from Liverpool and a keen supporter of the Reds.

A former social worker, Mr Robinson has a strong background in partnership and transformation and improvement work.

He sits on the Ministerial Steering Group for Commissioning and is currently working with the Department for Education and the Cabinet Office to develop new ways of delivering children’s services.

Wirral Council's the Employment and Appointments Panel made a unanimous decision today, Friday, to recommend the appointment of Eric Robinson to full council on February 24.

Council leader Cllr Phil Davies said: "I am delighted that Eric Robinson has been appointed as Wirral Council’s new chief executive, subject to council approval.

"With a strong record in transforming, improving and commissioning services, Eric is the ideal appointment to take us forward towards my ambition for Wirral to become an outstanding council."

Conservatives had called for Wirral to share a chief officer with a neighbouring council and were noisily opposed to a £40,000 increase in salary for the position.

Leader of Wirral's Tory group, Cllr Jeff Green, said: "We look forward to working with our new chief executive.

"Eric was clearly the best candidate we saw.

"While this is a matter for full council, given his excellent performance, I will have no hesitation in recommending him for the position."

Wirral's Lib Dem leader Cllr Phil Gilchrist said: "I am quite clear that Eric has the skills and experience we need. He presents us with a new opportunity to harness the talents of our staff and resources and move forward."

And acting chief executive David Armstrong said: "The appointment was only made today, so details of when our new chief executive will fully take up post have yet to be finalised.

"We had strong interest in the post, and I would like to thank everyone who applied for their interest."