GLASGOW'S new City Urbanist will cost the city nearly £40,000 a year - for two days' work per week.

As told in the Evening Times last month, Glasgow City Council has employed Scotland's first City Urbanist to oversee Glasgow's future development.

Council leader Susan Aitken has hailed the appointment of Professor Brian Evans as a forward-thinking addition to the council's strategic planning.

But Professor Evans, an expert in urbanism and landscape at the Glasgow School of Art, will be earning £400 a day.

Working two days a week, that comes to around £37,000 a year for each year of his three-year tenure.

Local councillor Martin McElroy said: "After 12 years of budget cuts from the Edinburgh Government and staff reductions within every department in the council, I was surprised that this appointment has been seen as a priority for the Administration.

"I’m not sure too many people actually know what a City Urbanist is so we will need to wait and see if this appointment is worth the money.

"But I wish Prof Evans the best of luck in his new role, I hope he engages positively with businesses and elected members during his tenure."

Prof Evans appointment was made through a private recruitment firm that Glasgow City Council paid £18,000 to "carry out an international search for an appropriate candidate," according to the response to a freedom of information request.

Glasgow's council has said it wants the city to be the "best liveable city" in Scotland with Prof Evans engaged to oversee how planning, development and transport can link up to best benefit communities.

He will not, however, be able to veto planning decisions.

Councillor Greg Hepburn, chairman of the Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm Committee, said: “The role of the City Urbanist will be integral to making our communities cleaner, healthier and more vibrant places to live, work and visit – and I’m confident that every neighbourhood across Glasgow will benefit over the coming years.

"The fact that Labour doesn’t value that as something worth investing in only goes to show their lack of ambition for our city.

"It’s a pity that Cllr McElroy didn’t discover his frugal streak a little earlier, when he and his colleagues were racking up millions in legal bills trying to avoid giving women equal pay."