COUNCIL chiefs have drawn up battle plans in readiness for the Government decision on the new Mersey bridge.
And they have revealed they are prepared to break the bank to find the right person to head the team.
A decision is expected within the next six weeks and if the £350m project is given the green light, a special project team and Mersey Gateway Executive Board will be established to oversee the massive civil engineering work.
The plans were drawn up after the Department of Transport wanted further assurance that Halton Borough Council had 'sufficiently robust' arrangements in place to carry through such a complex and expensive project.
A council spokesman said: 'Due to the complexity of the project and use of the Private Finance Initiative for part funding, it is suggested an advisory board, containing senior and experienced representatives of the local authority and other public bodies involved with private sector managers who have handled large-scale investment projects, should be established.'
The project team will be headed by a full-time director and the council will use a specialist consultancy to recruit the right man or woman.
'A recruitment and remuneration package will need to be offered that is not necessarily constrained by the borough council pay structure.
'The project director will head a core team of procurement manager, finance manager, engineering and environment manager, information and support manager and will be supported by six further full-time staff. The project team will be responsible directly to the Mersey Gateway Executive Board.
'The necessary personnel procedures for the core team posts are under way and it is recommended a recruitment consultancy should instigate the recruitment process as soon as the Government's acceptance of the project is announced.'
Development costs alone are estimated between £12m and £16m.