Up to £30,000 will be spent on consultants to help with the search for a new Chief Fire Officer for Nottinghamshire.
It follows an announcement that the county’s most senior firefighter is to step down after 26 years of service.
Chief Fire Officer John Buckley, who started as a firefighter in 1996, announced he will retire in April next year.
In replacing him, the service doesn’t have to use consultants – but the Chief Fire Officer advised that is the best course of action.
The new CFO will be paid between £145,732 and £161,925.
A report for the Nottinghamshire and City of Nottingham
Fire and Rescue Authority said: “The use of external consultants to support the process is likely to cost in the region of £25-30k.
“This will be funded from the consultancy budget.”
The Fire Authority will now “consider all options” for the future leadership of Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Mr Buckley, who was appointed to the role in 2014, said: “The process is quite rigorous, it is multi-faceted.
“To give additional reach into the sector, we also use consultants, they also act as independent advisors.
“We are seeking to spend in the region of £25,00 to £30,000, it is not cheap unfortunately because they tend to gear it on the salary.
“We would hope to be able to pull the whole process in the next few months.”
Councillor Tom Hollis (Ashfield Ind) Deputy Leader of Ashfield District Council, said: “Why the hell do we have to spend £30,000 on a consultant? Bearing in mind I suspect at least 50 per cent of the applicants will be internal and the other one or two will have probably been directly approached.
“It is slightly frustrating.”
Mr Buckley responded: “You don’t need to use consultants but I advise that you do, purely to give you that penetration into the sector.
“They have a far wider-reaching knowledge than what we do internally.
“I’d rather not spend it myself as well but I do think it will add the independent element.”
Chair of the meeting Michael Payne (Lab) said: “John will be a massive loss to the service. He is absolutely determined until April next year to finish off some of his projects and continue working in the same vigour he always has.”