Caerphilly Taxpayers’ facing shock rising bill for agency staff

28/12/2018

The cost of employing agency staff is set to rise by £700,000 to almost £5.5m in 2018-19, according to information obtained by Plaid Cymru.

Caerphilly council employed 441 staff in the six months between April and September this year at a cost of £2,749,433. Most temporary staff have worked in learning education and inclusion (253), 85 in community and leisure services and 49 in Caerphilly Homes.

In comparison the agency bill for the whole of 2016-17 was £4,700,972 and £4,733,741 in the last financial year.

The figures were revealed following Freedom of Information requests made by Plaid Cymru. 

Councillor Colin Mann, leader of the Plaid Cymru group, said: “I’m shocked and so will be residents of Caerphilly county when they see agency staffing costs are set to rocket by £700,000 to around £5.5m in this financial year, if the pattern of the first six months is repeated.

“The increaing use of agency staff is in contrast to the last year of the Plaid Cymru administration in 2011-12 when just over £3m was spent.

“Everyone knows that employing agency or temporary staff is an expensive way of doing business.

 “We said before the last council elections in 2017 that a widespread review of spending on agency staff should be carried out to look at the opportunities to reduce this bill. This needs to happen.

“While the agency staff bill has risen many hundreds of people have left the council payroll in the last few years as cuts have bitten. It does make we question whether the increasing use of temporary staff is necessary to fill in the gaps caused by the axing of council posts. It if far better where possible to give people secure permanent jobs.”