Despite "severe budgetary constraints" a new head of service job - with a potential top salary of £91,000 - will be advertised by Pembrokeshire County Council.

Members of the senior staff committee agreed that a new post of head of economic development and regeneration be advertised in a bid to ensure improvements and large investments are made around the county.

The former head of regeneration recently retired.

Despite voicing initial concern at the meeting on Wednesday (July 11) the only councillor against the new role, Cllr Reg Owens, was swayed by the justifications from chief executive Ian Westley and cabinet member for regeneration Cllr Paul Miler.

Cllr Owens said the post sent the wrong message to the people of Pembrokeshire.

"I really cant see any justification in filling this post. This year [we have] been lectured about need to be far more prudent in expenditure. When we approved 12.5% [council tax] I said we have to be seen to do our bit as well asking people of Pembrokeshire to pay.

"I Don’t think we will be casting adrift if we don’t make this appointment - we will  show  them we do mean business when we’re trying to save some money," he said.

This was countered by Cllr Michael Williams who said: "If you want justification just take a walk through our towns. To do nothing is not an option. We have to have some ambition for the whole of the county, or it’s dead.

"Whoever’s appointed must be given the freedom to engage, innovate and take carefully calculated risks. In the past there’s been a dead hand of bureaucracy holding this department back."

Both Cllr Miller and council leader Cllr David Simpson echoed this.

"We either show some ambition or we retreat and accept the budget position and just do less and less," said Cllr Miller.

It was agreed unanimously that the new role be advertised in a search fo someone to "translate the Council’s ambitious plans for improving the local economy and delivering key strategic sites into deliverable projects, with a focus on strong financial management and outcomes."