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LIVERPOOL DEFENDS RELOCATION PACKAGES

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Liverpool City Council has defended a move that will see the introduction of relocation packages worth up to£12,00...
Liverpool City Council has defended a move that will see the introduction of relocation packages worth up to£12,000 for senior staff, reported The Daily Post (1 June, p7).

Officials say the packages are common in private industry as a way of attracting high-quality staff. Although the proposal is to double to top level of payment from£6,000, the new ceiling of£12,000 will be less that half of what is offered by Birmingham City Council and is lower than packages in other major cities.

But opposition councillors and a number of leading members of the ruling Liberal Democrat group have expressed alarm at the size of the packages. One senior Lib Dem member said: 'This is not sending out a good signal to the city when we are being told we have to watch every penny we spend.'

Resources executive director Phil Halsall confirmed that the five executive directors, himself included, would qualify for the relocation packege. They would receive the money if they agreed to move addresses within Liverpool.

'This is a review of a scheme that the council operates in common with other local authorities to attract staff,' he said. 'We have looked at what the council pays and decided that£12,000 is more realistic. Some local authorities pay much more.

'We cannot say at the moment how many people will qualify, but it will not just apply to senior officers. If there are specific special posts to be filled, an executive director will have the ability at his or her discretion to agree to pay, providing there is funding. The scheme will apply to executive directors, but only if people move to addresses in Liverpool.'

A spokesman for the council said: 'The scheme will assist the city council in recruiting staff whop are able to deliver the strategic goals. There is not overall increase in expenditure as the cost will be met from existing budgets.'

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