THE magician brought in by Cotswold District Council as a training provider to boost morale has said he will repay his £19,000 fee if the authority is unhappy with his results.

CDC came under fire last week after it emerged £19,000 of taxpayers’ money had been spent on Magic Circle member Shay McConnon, after announcing cuts of £1.4million.

CDC said Mr McConnon was an "internationally renowned" training provider and that £16,000 of the cost was for IT licences and ongoing support so staff could access the system.

Now Mr McConnon has offered to refund all costs if CDC is not satisfied with the end results.

He said: "CDC should be congratulated not condemned for making a sound commercial decision. Enlightened people wait for evidence before making judgements."

A CDC spokesman said they were grateful to Mr McConnon for making the refund offer but they did not expect to accept it.

"We too are confident that he can help us deliver some tough efficiency savings targets over the next two years while protecting all of our front line customer services."

The 'Even Better Place to Work' programme is an online project that allows managers to monitor and track their team's motivation and performance levels.

An introduction to the course was given by Mr McConnon who designed and supplied the programme.

CDC Lib Dem leader Paul Hodgkinson said criticism was aimed solely at CDC’s "unnecessary extravagance" at a time when services were being cutback.

"This is rather like having a debate about whether a Cartier watch is worth the money or not," he said. "Surely it depends on whether you can afford it in the first place."