A COUNCIL boss retired from his full-time job...and then came back to work with possible earnings of £45,000 a year for two days a week.
Clive Simpson left his role as head of planning at Basildon Council because his post was being axed.
However, the council then awarded a two-year contract of up to £90,000 to his firm, Clive Simpson Planning, for planning advice for two days a week.
Mr Simpson was paid a salary of £55,000 in 2013/14, but it is understood he took early retirement.
Nigel Smith, leader of the opposition Labour Party, said: “The suspicion is that a deal has been done and residents and councillors will be righly suspicious.
“It all sounds very unsatisfactory to me and when you think about something as crucial as planning is to councils, you have to ask why isn’t this expertise all in-house by someone employed by the council?”
The council insists it would have been detrimental if a contract had not been awarded straight away. The bulk of the firm’s work will providing support for the negotiation and preparation of applications and advising on the development of regeneration schemes.
It could also include help with the local housing plan, but the council will pay the firmon how much work it gives it.
David Harrison, Ukip candidate for Wickford Park, claimed the council waived its own tendering process by awarding the contract because it was below £173,000. Mr Harrison added: “The big issue is that once again Basildon Council has ignored its own tendering procedures to give Mr Simpson this contract.”
A council spokesman said: “It’s worth mentioning that £90,000 is the maximum contract value and Mr Simpson’s payments will be determined solely by the amount of work Basildon Council gives him and based upon his submitted timesheets.
“The exact content and balancing of the workload will be determined between the council and contractor, but the bulk of it involves providing support for the negotiation and preparation of applications and advising on the development of regeneration schemes.”