Highland official suspended over social work post

A councillor has been suspended following his opposition to the creation of a new management post in his council’s social work department.

Caol and Mallaig member Bill Clark is unhappy £25,000 will be spent on the six-month appointment by Highland Council.

Mr Clark, who was elected as an independent, is part of the authority’s ruling coalition.

The council said the temporary post would help it identify savings.

Mr Clark will be suspended for a week, before meeting fellow councillors next week.

The chief operating officer post will be created to try to tackle a projected £3.4m overspend in the social work budget.

Council officials said the authority must “spend to save” and the temporary appointment would lead to improved finances and service delivery.

Services to people with learning difficulties and older people are among those affected by the spending strains.

In a paper to councillors, officials said the social work budget was “under severe pressure”.