A ROW has reignited over Wirral Council employing a policy executive to help advise its leader at taxpayers' expense.

Back in September the new contracted post - which attracts a salary of £45,000 - sparked an outcry from opposition councillors when it was revealed in the Globe.

We were told the job was to help develop strategy with Labour boss Cllr Phil Davies in light of his extra reponsibilites as chariman of Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. 

However Cllr Davies this week announced he is to quit his city region chairmanship.

Now he is being asked again to justify the policy chief role - and explain why taxpayers are expected to pay for it.

At a meeting of full council on Monday night, Tory group opposition leader Cllr Jeff Green said: “When I first questioned this role back in September much was made out of the need to support Phil Davies because of his role as chair of the combined authority.

"As he is now stepping down from that role it would naturally follow that Mr Liptrot’s duties could be scaled back and the savings realised could contribute to improving the council’s financial outlook.

“But apparently not. I was informed Mr Liptrot’s role now focusses on the council’s '2020 Plan' - notwithstanding that the council has a considerable number of senior officers funded by Wirral’s taxpayers and whose job it is to implement the plan.

"When I went on to raise the issue that Mr Liptrot hasn’t engaged with a third of elected members I was told it’s the Labour administration’s plan so he doesn’t have to."

He added: “Yet again we see more breathtaking hypocrisy from Labour.

"Either it’s the council’s plan and Mr Liptrot - a contractor paid for by the council - needs to engage with all the elected members or it’s the Labour administration’s plan and the former Labour Party campaigner needs to be paid for from other sources.”

A council spokesman told the Globe today: "The executive policy support officer’s role is not unusual in local government and provides dedicated support in relation to policy development.

"The leader of the council has not yet stood down as chair, and in any case, will remain an active member of the combined authority.

"This post is designed to provide support in this area, but also support the leader in his work at Wirral Council and as chair of the Wirral Partnership, which is made up of key public, private and voluntary sector bodies.

"As such it is entirely appropriate that this resource and support continues to be provided."