Wirral Council is to hire a new senior officer to supervise inward investment - and councillors have been banned from asking questions about it.

A report to Monday's cabinet meeting said the "urgency" to appoint an "investor development manager" means elected members should waive their powers to "call in" the proposal for further scrutiny.

Members of the ruling Labour cabinet agreed to this unusual demand, with leader Phil Davies saying: "This short-term investment will lead to substantial investment afterwards.

“I think it’s important that we invest in this individual - I am asking cabinet to waive call-in.”

Wirral’s Conservative group leader Jeff Green said later: “I’m staggered cabinet has agreed to this

“I cannot believe the recruitment of a member of staff can be done in such a way that spending additional money cannot be properly examined by a scrutiny committee.

“I find it breath-taking cabinet can act in such a high-handed and dictatorial manner.”

The authority is looking at ways of raising revenue while cutting costs as it faces having to make £132m of spending reductions over the next three years.

It views attracting new business to the borough and marketing Wirral as widely as possible as key elements of its strategy.

Evidently the town hall is seeking a high-calibre person to carry out these tasks as a budget of up to £80,000 has been allocated for the postion -  although this will need to be finalised once the temporary post has been evaluated by the Human Resources director.

The job description says the key purpose of the role is to lead, develop and manage an inward investment team to drive investor development activity in the borough.

The successful candidate will have to give strong leadership and have "a vision in the pursuit of the Wirral growth plan."

He or she will need to be politically neutral as it is "a sensitive politically restricted post."

And they can expect some out of office hours working as well as the "potential requirement for national, international travel and extended trade visits."

The cabinet document said: "Officers will be authorised to create and advertise a temporary post to drive forward investor development activity... 

"Given the urgency to implement these proposals in order to deliver the time-critical activities, members are requested to agree that it is appropriate for call-in to be waived.

"This will enable the activities to progress at once and therefore ensure that work is completed in time to meet deadlines for key events."

In his foreword to the report - which sets out the authority's long-term ambitions for improving the local economy - Cllr Davies said: “In 2020 Wirral has to be self-sufficient - the only money we will have to invest in our borough in the services residents rely on - will be the money we can raise ourselves.

"This simple fact puts strengthening our economy, supporting businesses to grow and encouraging businesses to move here and create jobs at the top of our agenda.

“We are determined to ensure Wirral residents have access to good high-paying jobs at businesses which are supported to succeed and expand."

The cabinet's decision now will have to be ratified at a future full meeting of the council.