Spin doctor on £540 a day

A SPIN doctor at East Sussex County Council is costing bosses £620 each day – when the council is looking to make £56 million worth of savings by 2015.

Jill Rawlins, who took up the post on Monday (July 9) to fill in as the authority’s temporary communications head, has an agreement with the council which could eventually cost more than £50,000

Miss Rawlins could be in the role for up to four months as the council searches for a permanent replacement for Lynn Evans, the recently-departed communication chief who left after many years service.

Miss Rawlins’ wage is the equivalent of £140,000 a year –more than twice the salary of her predecessor and equal to the pay of Prime Minister David Cameron.

The council confirmed yesterday a permanent appointment for the position would receive a salary of between £56,649 and £61,905, similar to the previous head who was paid around £60,000 a year.

However, Miss Rawlins will be paid a daily wage of £540 and recruitment firm Comensura, who made the arrangement, will take a daily fee of £80.

Simon Hughes, the council’s assistant chief executive, said, “Communicating and engaging with our residents about council services is absolutely crucial – we need to have the right person, with the right skills and experience in place to help us over the next few months.

“Jill Rawlins is interim head of communications to cover the post following the departure of the head of communications for a period of three to four months.

“As well as managing the service she will additionally be implementing a review of the service to ensure it delivers what is needed and taking up opportunities to deliver savings through campaigns such as on fostering and vaccinations.

“Jill has more than 30 years’ experience in communications, with charities like the Alzheimer’s Society, local government and the private sector. The interim post was advertised through Comensura, and when needed we source all short-term staff through them, for example care staff, social workers and teaching assistants. We received expressions of interest from in excess of 20 people which tested the market for skills and cost. Jill will be paid through our usual arrangements with Comensura.”