THE COUNCIL'S could pay £77,610 for 78 days of chief executive's work, it has been revealed.

On September 7 Manjeet Gill began her work as chief executive of Wokingham Borough Council following the departure of Andy Couldrick in August.

Mr Couldrick, who is now leading Birmingham's children's services, took home £165,189 in 2015/16, once £24,068 in pension contributions and £11,121 in performance related pay were taken into account.

That amounts to £635 a day for an average full time year.

The agency which represents Ms Gill however, is taking home £995 a day, working an average of three days week.

If she stays for the six months expected until a full time replacement is found, the council will have paid £77,610 for her services, a percentage of which will go to the recruitment agency.

Council leader, Councillor Charlotte Haitham Taylor, said: “The daily rate for this position is £995, which is in line with other chief executives leading innovative multi-million pound organisations like ours.

"It will be covered entirely by the existing chief executive salary budget, and we do not pay holiday, sick pay or pension contributions. Manjeet will be working an average of three days per week.

“Wokingham Borough Council faces complex challenges such as ensuring our local plan meets local needs, and managing reduced government funding while safeguarding public services that our residents rely on.

"As interim chief executive, Manjeet brings a wealth of experience which will be hugely beneficial to our local authority in the short-term, while we search and appoint a long-term successor. This recruitment process has already started.”

The Personnel Board agreed at its meeting on June 29 Mr Couldrick’s departure should be covered through interim arrangements until the permanent successor is in post.