THREE board members of the new company running children’s services in the county will be paid an “eye-watering” £500 a day, it has been revealed.

Worcestershire County Council has promised a £500 daily rate for three non-executive board members who would sit on the new ‘wholly-owned’ company Worcestershire Children First which will run children’s social care fully from October.

For the first two years, the £60,000 for the three board members’ salary would be provided by the Department for Education (DfE) but it would be up to the county council to provide the money thereafter.

Councillor Fran Oborksi, chairman of the council’s children and families overview and scrutiny panel, said she thought the fee was “eye-watering” and would like to see the evidence which shows £500 a day is an acceptable amount.

Cllr Richard Udall said it was “morally bankrupt” to offer £500 a day and questioned why the council could not offer the role to a volunteer for free.

He said: “Nobody should be paid £500 a day in local government, especially when the same county council is unable to pay the living wage to our lowest paid employees and continues to have many staff on zero hour contracts.

“It is morally bankrupt for a Tory council to offer to pay so much and then offer so little to our lowest paid.

“We should be testing the market to see if we could get people to volunteer for free to do the jobs before we agree to pay them a massive £500 a day.”

A county council spokesman said: “We are under statutory direction from the Department for Education to move services to a different delivery model to help sustain improvement.

“The development of a wholly owned council company called Worcestershire Children First will provide an alternative way of delivering these services meaning there will be even more focus on improving services for children and young people in Worcestershire.

“The non-executive directors will bring proven experience of driving improvement and achieving successful change, particularly through a board environment to improve the safety and well-being of children and young people across Worcestershire.”

The council said it is confident that all members on the board will be appointed by October when Worcestershire Children First goes fully live.