Search

‘Warped’ Islington Council blow £8 million on temp staff

07:08 07 August 2012

Islington Council leader Catherine West

Islington Council leader Catherine West

Archant

A councillor has branded town hall priorities “warped” after it was revealed that the council has spent £8.2million on agency staff.

Labour controlled Islington Council hired 247 agency staff over the past 12 months, costing almost £700,000 a month.

Temporary staff make up around 10 per cent of the council workforce, while 200 permanent staff are being made redundant as part of budget cuts.

Cllr John Gilbert, Lib Dem finance spokesman, said: “An £8million bill for agency staff is hardly good value for money, especially in these tough times.

“It is ironic that this mind-blowing figure was revealed in a presentation by the Labour councillor for finance called Delivering Basic Services Efficiently and Well.

“The council has made nearly 200 full-time staff redundant to reduce its costs. So it has a truly warped sense of priority if Labour councillors now think it is cost effective to spend £8m filling the gaps with agency staff.”

Agency staff are meant to save money because they are not entitled to sick or holiday pay and can be let go at short notice.

But the opposition Lib Dem group believes that the high turnover leads to a disjointed service for people, particularly among carers of vulnerable people.

In 2009/10, agency spend was £12m under the Lib Dems. Opposition leader Cllr Terry Stacy said this was because of a national shortage of social workers and other key staff, and had pledged to bring the figure down.

He claims this year’s lower figure is a result of that pledge, and says the council should have done more to bring it down further.

Cllr Catherine West, leader of Islington Council, said: “The amount the council spends on agency staff is a third lower than under the Lib Dem administration – who spent a staggering £12,758,31 in 2009/10.

“Almost 90 per cent of the savings we’ve had to make this year have come from cost-cutting, such as sharing services and re-negotiating contracts.”

0 comments

Latest Islington News Stories

Yesterday, 19:00

Islington’s archives team were all smiles after winning their bid to bring home a piece of the borough’s creative history.

Yesterday, 17:35

Think you’ve had an interesting life? Meet Carlos Lopez-Barillas. He’s an award-winning Guatemalan war photographer, champion skateboarder and water polo player and runs his own newspaper. And comes from a family of political activists.

Yesterday, 17:33

The Gazette hunts high and low each week to bring you news of the most interesting and unusual new businesses in Islington. This week we speak to the guys behind the borough’s first honey.

Yesterday, 15:57

Drum’n’bass fans were left fuming after being refused entry to a Finsbury Park festival because they “turned up too late”.

Yesterday, 14:16

Former health minister Aneurin Bevan, who had helped found the NHS eight years earlier, blasted the standard of council housing on a visit to Islington Central Library in Holloway Road.

Yesterday, 12:52

Every week, we take to the streets to unearth something being manufactured right here in Islington. This week, we speak to cake baking business owner Cynthia Akinsanya, who has created a new range to celebrate Black History Month.

Yesterday, 12:35

Islington Council is “not going to stand by” and wait for the transport industry to improve air quality.

Tue, 18:46

A cycle crash victim who struggles to walk has thanked cabbies for saving their life after they raised £3,000 for an electric wheelchair.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

Competitions

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now