The new leader of Enfield Council has come under fire for allegedly planning to hire a political assistant at a time of ongoing spending cuts.

Leader of Enfield Conservative group Cllr Joanne Laban said it was “outrageous” for new council leader Cllr Nesil Caliskan to consider reintroducing the posts, which were scrapped more than a decade ago after being deemed unnecessary.

According to Cllr Laban, the role has an annual salary of £35,000 a year, with £15,000-a-year pension costs.

But the council said it was common practice for local authorities to employ people to “support the democratic process” and any new post would be funded out of money already set aside.

Cllr Laban said: “Doug Taylor managed to be leader of the council for eight years and won three elections in a row and did not require a political assistant.

“The money could be better spent elsewhere. The post is not essential for delivering any service at all.

“We need to prioritise the money we do have. Enfield Council needs to find between £12 million and £15 million in savings.

“Something will have to be cut to deliver this, and I would like to know what.”

Cllr Laban added that both Labour and the Conservatives had support in their offices but it was administrative, not political.

Cllr Caliskan was elected leader of Enfield Council on May 22, having had only three years’ experience as a councillor.

Enfield Council has been forced to make savings of £161 million since 2010 and will have to make additional savings of £31 million by 2020 due to cuts in funding from central government.

James Price, campaign manager at lobby group the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Enfield Council already spent more than £1.2 million pounds on just ten employees last year, and yet they are talking about spending even more.

“Taxpayers are sick of suffering council tax increases almost every year because councils are addicted to overspending. If they actually want to help residents, the council should leave more of peoples’ money in their pockets, where it belongs.”

An Enfield Council spokesperson said: “Enfield Council seeks to provide appropriate support to both groups to ensure good governance and support the democratic process.

“We are currently looking at a range of options to improve this support, all of which are in line with common practice in councils throughout the country and would be funded out of existing service support budgets.

“Any recommendations made on this support would go through the proper democratic process and any new officer posts would be recruited in the standard way. The appointment of political assistance is tightly governed and pay is capped significantly below £50k.”