SENIOR York councillors have been accused of adding another layer of management to the local authority while frontline services such as bin collections struggle.

A new City of York Council role called head of democratic governance has been created and is being advertised with a salary of up to £67,000 a year.

Opposition Labour councillors have criticised the ruling Liberal Democrat party, saying it is “adding an extra new tier of senior management”.

The successful applicant will help deliver governance services alongside an existing council director earning almost £100,000.

But the Lib Dems say the new post fits with the council’s “governance improvement journey”.

York council was ordered to review its governance policies after the publication in April of a critical public interest report into its handling of a £400,000 payout to the former council chief executive.

Labour group leader Coun Pete Kilbane said: “This new council officer position has come out of nowhere and will add almost £70,000 to the council’s annual wage bill.

“The Lib Dems claimed they were cutting back on top officer costs, but moving from six to nine directors posts suggests quite the opposite.

“While there’s no shortage of resources for top officer pay, frontline services are on their knees, with not enough staff to deliver even basic services like waste collections.”

But senior Lib Dem Coun Nigel Ayre hit back, saying Coun Kilbane has called for governance improvements.

He said: “The role of the head of democratic governance, created with the full support of the trade unions, fits within the governance improvement journey at the council and recognises the growing pressures placed in both elections and democratic services teams within the challenges brought about by the pandemic.

“The postholder will review the work of the governance teams, act as a first point of contact for members who have queries and will also act as a deputy monitoring officer and assist in the delivery of the updated constitution and delivery of scrutiny.”

He added: “It’s typical of the York Labour party to try and score cheap political points whilst ignoring the context or even their own previous comments. It’s the privilege of opposition parties to criticise without having the responsibility or accountability to deliver.”

A job advert for the position says applicants “will be expected to develop a culture of accountability, transparency and empowerment enabling the team to deliver high quality, outcome focussed, risk based and pragmatic advice”.

It says: “Through this role you will provide challenge and advice to elected members and officers to ensure that council decisions and actions are made correctly and are constitutionally compliant, and that elections are delivered with integrity and transparency.”