An MP has criticised Birmingham City Council after it set up a dedicated website to help it fill just one job vacancy.
The site, www.takeushigher.co.uk, was created to advertise the post of Strategic Director of Children, Young People & Families, which comes with a salary of £150,000.
Steve McCabe MP (Lab Hall Green) said creating a site just to advertise one job was a “vanity project” – as the authority was also losing hundreds of jobs.
But the authority said the website, which cost £3,500, was a cheaper way of advertising the post than the traditional method of taking out adverts in national newspapers.
The existing director of Children’s Services, Tony Howell, is to retire in January, aged 60.
He had been resisting calls for his resignation after the council was heavily criticised over the death of Khyra Ishaq, who was starved to death by her mother and stepfather. An independent inquiry said the seven-year-old could have been saved.
The website features the slogan “be one in a million”.
It states: “As our new strategic director, you will use your vision, drive and leadership to raise standards, ensuring our city’s children have all the support they need to thrive.”
It promises a salary of about £150,000 and “relocation package for exceptional candidates”.
Labour accused the Conservative and Liberal Democrat-led council of wasting money at the same time as making cuts.
Mr McCabe said: “This is yet more proof that for the Tories and Lib Dems it’s austerity cuts for you and me but for Birmingham City Council vanity projects it’s carry on as normal, every day more wasteful than the one before.
“To the vulnerable in our society who have lost vital public services and the thousands of council workers who’ve lost their jobs, this glossy website, built at who knows what cost to advertise a single six figure salary job, this is nothing more than a slap in the face.”
But the authority insisted the cost of advertising the post in the traditional manner, such as buying advertising space in The Guardian newspaper, could be as much as £20,000.
Instead, it had simply used the website and bought a £2,500 advert in the Municipal Journal, a magazine read by people working in local government.
The site features a message from Coun Alan Rudge, Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet Member for Equalities & Human Resources, who repeatedly thanks potential candidates for considering applying.
He states: “Whatever your background or sector, I hope you will give serious consideration to applying for this job.
“It has great possibilities, it is exciting, and it is a chance to be innovative and move forward.”
The council revealed last month that up to 430 jobs could be cut. Earlier this year, it was revealed 1,300 jobs were at risk while another 800 job cuts were announced in October.