THE return of former chief executive Stuart Rosser is set to cost Caerphilly council £65,000 for his temporary reappointment.

He is set to return to the helm of the crisis-hit local authority following the arrests and suspensions of its top two men Anthony O’Sullivan and Nigel Barnett.

They are now on police bail after being arrested by Avon and Somerset Police on suspicion of fraud and misconduct in public office.

At a special council meeting tonight, members will be urged by leader Harry Andrews to agree to the reappointment of Mr Rosser for an initial period of six months on a three or three and a half day working week.

The estimated cost of this is £64,000 over that period.

Mr Rosser retired from his role in December 2010 following a 38-year career described as ‘exemplary’ by then-council leader Lindsay Whittle. Cllr Andrews has spent the last week working with the Welsh Local Government Association’s chief executive Steve Thomas on a way forward for the council.

He will put before councillors four options but will urge them to approve engaging Mr Rosser in the role of head of paid services for an initial six months.

The other options include sharing a chief executive with another authority, that will cost up to £65,000, recruiting from outside the council at a cost of up to £121,000 or appointing an interim head of paid service from within the corporate management team. This will cost up to £86,000.

Cllr Andrews says in a report that Mr Rosser’s “extensive experience in key governance roles” means he is “ideally placed” to take on the role. He has confirmed he is available to start work immediately if councillors agree.

Avon and Somerset policelaunched an investigation after a Wales Audit Office report found that pay rises to top officers of up to 20 per cent were unlawful.

The rises saw hundreds of council staff, who have seen their own pay frozen for three years, walk out in disgust.

Mr O’Sullivan was suspended in March after the investigation was launched, with his deputy Nigel Barnett assuming control.

However, Mr Barnett was also suspended last week after he was arrested as well.