THE SNP group in Edinburgh have hit out at the “indefensible” contract the council is set to award to an interim adult social care director.

On Thursday, councillors from the Labour, Tory, and LibDem groups voted to appoint someone to a role “which will be for up to six months duration at a cost of circa £161,356”. The job is expected to require three to four days of work per week.

The SNP group said that calculates to a full-time equivalent pay of £403,000 per year, which they said was likely to be one of the most expensive public sector appointments in Scotland’s history.

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"I can’t look my constituents in the eye and tell them that this appointment is a good use of public money,” SNP social care spokesperson Vicky Nicolson said.

The interim director of adult social care will “primarily focus on the delivery and leadership of the adult social care portfolio of the Health and Social Care Partnership and drive forward the Improvement Plan”, according to City of Edinburgh Council chief executive Andrew Kerr.

The appointee will report directly to Kerr.

Nicolson said: "This is indefensible. When money is desperately needed to fix the problems in health and social care in Edinburgh, residents and staff will rightly condemn this scale of pay when Edinburgh is failing to provide care and clawing back millions in self-directed support payments.

"Edinburgh’s services need proper reform and health services and social care services need to be properly integrated or the city will remain in crisis.

“Savings proposals are coming forward to date and I lack confidence that the current approach provides any real change. Throwing obscene amounts of money at one role, I feel, will undermine relations with staff, undermine progress and undermine the integration work needed to move people from receiving crisis care to early intervention care.

“Preventing people needing costly crisis interventions is the only way we will get the significant service improvement required and bring the budget back under control.”

Edinburgh council is run by a minority Labour administration, propped up with votes from Tory and LibDem councillors.

In February, Labour council boss Cammy Day clung on to his role despite a humiliating budget defeat which saw him forced to back opposition proposals instead of his own.

Edinburgh Council has been approached for comment.