Politicians in Wirral have united to try to force an "extraordinary" meeting of the full council over a move preventing them asking questions about a controversial new appointment.

The authority is to hire a new senior officer to supervise inward investment - and elected members have been banned from asking questions about it.

At this week's cabinet meeting the ruling Labour group agreed the urgency to appoint an "investor development manager" meant councillors should waive their powers to "call in" the proposal for further scrutiny.

Now 24 opposition members - Conservative, Lib-Dems and Wirral's only Green councillor - have requested a special meeting in an attempt to shine light on the move.

Their notice says: "Neither the recently agreed new operating model or December’s report to cabinet titled ‘Delivering Wirral’s Growth’ made any reference to the creation of this post.

"At a time when budgets - particularly for the employment of council staff - are under pressure we believe that the creation of this post requires further scrutiny to enable council to decide whether it is justified."

Conservative councillor Ian Lewis said: "By requesting an extraordinary meeting of all councillors we will be forcing those at the top to justify to the rest of us why £80,000 should be spent on yet another senior job.

"Only this week we have removed £72,000 from pensioner lunch clubs. 

"This new job wasn’t even in the chief executive’s so-called ‘New Operating Model’ in November which listed all the new roles he wanted then.”

It will now be up to the mayor, Labour councillor Pat Hackett, to decide whether the meeting should go ahead.

At Monday's cabinet, town hall leader Cllr Phil Davies said: "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.”

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 it is seeking a high-calibre person to carry out these tasks as a budget of up to £80,000 has been allocated for the position.

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

The cabinet decsision will have to be ratified by the full council.