TOWN councillors will meet next week to appoint a temporary clerk and begin the search for three new members of staff.

Middlewich Town Council’s recruitment sub-committee will meet at the Victoria Building from 6.15pm next Tuesday, with main agenda items to be discussed away from the press and public.

Members will appoint a locum clerk for three months and agree the terms and conditions for the appointments of permanent town clerk, deputy town clerk and responsible finance officer.

Middlewich has been without a permanent town clerk since Jonathan Williams – who held the post for 34 years – died in September.

Meanwhile, the appointment of a responsible finance officer was one of the resolutions made following a damning audit which found 28 failings over the way the council’s finances were handled in 2017-18 and 2018-19.

The audit, conducted by JDH Business Services, found ‘numerous financial internal control weaknesses’ which left the recorded figures ‘incorrect’.

Town chiefs are now waiting to hear if they will be faced with a major VAT bill as a result, which could be worth around £100,000, members were told at December’s full council meeting.

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A special meeting of Middlewich Town Council will also take place from 7.15pm next Monday, at Victoria Hall, to approve the final draft of the 2020-21 budget and set the council tax precept.