Page last updated at 14:53 GMT, Sunday, 13 April 2008 15:53 UK

New council job is 'ridiculous'

A council has been criticised by a taxpayers' campaign group for creating a new international liaison role.

Essex County Council's new European and international officer would get a 27,500 salary and work to develop he county's relations with the EU.

But the Taxpayers' Alliance branded the job as "ridiculous" and said the council had other priorities it should focus on.

The council said the post was "vital" for the county's economy.

An advertisement for the post said the successful candidate would be required to travel.

It added: "You will also be responsible for driving forward the county council's relationships with international partners, making sure that these relationships reflect the priorities of the county council and add value."

But a spokesman for the Taxpayers' Alliance said: "People want the council to focus on mending the roads and providing services in Essex, not paying for officials to gallivant about Europe.

"With council tax running at record levels and services struggling, the county council has plenty of problems to solve at home before it looks abroad.

"Taxpayers need a local service, not an EU ambassador."

An Essex County Council spokeswoman said: "This is an important role for the council as identifying and maximising opportunities in the European business market.

"It is of vital importance to the economy of our county."


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