Council criticised over exec recruitment drive

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A council was criticised today for spending thousands of pounds on a Status Quo-themed website to recruit new executives.

Brighton and Hove City Council had the flashy website created to advertise four new directors' posts at £125,000 a year.

A banner across the top of the homepage warns: "Status Quo fans need not apply" in big, bold letters in a nod to the style of the rock band.

A letter from the council's chief executive John Barradell on the site says the role of the board of directors will be to "improve the customer experience, engage with residents and, through intelligent commissioning, deliver value for money", adding that it will be "the key to delivering" the transformation of the unitary authority.

However, Alex Knutsen, branch secretary of Unison, described the advert as a waste of money.

He told the Metro newspaper: "There are five talented directors, plus one acting director, already doing a good job. The whole recruitment process is bound to cost at least £10,000.

"And all this when the council is trying to make £20 million cuts in the next year."

A council spokeswoman defended the cost of the website but would not comment on how much was spent on it.

She added: "This campaign is generating a huge amount of interest including media coverage which will no doubt help our drive to recruit the best candidates.

"The council came up with the idea in partnership with a recruitment agency."