Residents have derided as ‘unnecessary’ and a ‘ludicrous’ waste of money, a council move to hire a cost-cutter, paid £630 a day.

Julie Alderson has recently been appointed in the temporary position of interim finance director at Maldon District Council.

She was previously hired, as an interim director of resources from October 2010 to February 2011, by Kirklees Council, West Yorkshire, on an £10,000-a-month salary.

To cut costs at the council she got rid of 1,700 jobs and cut the budget by £80 million.

On top of her salary, she received £4,860.91 in expenses during her time at Kirklees and claimed for rent, parking, electricity and groceries, including £11.52 for lightbulbs.

Marian Mathan, 67, and Brian Painter, 73, of Abbotsmead, Heybridge, were shocked to hear about the council’s new employee.

Mrs Mathan said: “I think it’s disgusting.

“If they need that sort of help it shows they are not really up to scratch.

“It’s a bit mad as it isn’t really cutting costs.”

Mr Painter added: “We are disgusted with it, is it really necessary?”