Shepway District Council costs for Temporary Staff between April – Sept 16/17 was £379,679. For the same period in 17/18 Temporary staff costs have significantly risen to £620,469. This is an increase of £240,790 or 63.4%
Shepway’s rising reliance on agency staff, will if the trend continues, break the million pound mark by the year end – March 31st 2018. So it is not just the B&B accommodation costs which will breach the £1 million barrier.
Also do remember, back in August 2017, SDC released Data in breach of the Data Protection Act and revealed 55 temporary staff names and their hourly or day rates unnecessarily.
Moving on, temporary positions give no-one any stability and temporary staff numbers across the UK are on a par with those who hold zero hour contracts. Yes the Tories have created jobs, but the majority of these jobs are temporary and ephemeral in nature.
In Dec 2016 the Resolution Foundation released a report entitled: Secret Agents: agency workers in the new world of work – it states:
In 2016, agency workers were paid £2.57 an hour less their non-agency counterparts on average
working via an agency carries an average ‘pay penalty’ of 22p an hour, equivalent to a loss of £430 a year for those working full-time.
Many agency workers value the flexibility, variety and absence of bureaucracy that being employed through an agency brings. But when agency work has an average pay penalty of £430 a year, many are likely to working in this way out of necessity rather than choice
SDC and the Tory led administration state that there aims has always been to bring long term and stable jobs to Shepway, yet in their own building it would appear the opposite is true. What will the ex double glazing salesman (pictured) do about it? Create permanent jobs?
Moving on Cllr Malcolm Dearden (pictured) is the Cabinet Member for Finance. He was first elected in May 2007, with 1,147 votes in the Hythe Central Ward. Malclm joined SDC’s ranks as a Cllr in the same year and month as his fellow Hythe & SDC Cllr, Alan Ewart-James.
Cllr Dearden and SDC Chief Financial Officer Tim Madden (pictured) should be sufficiently concerned about the significant rise in temporary staff costs. These budgets for which they are in part responsible demonstrates that both may be technologically challenged. Their possible inability to use excel demonstrates their failure to be able to interrogate the data, leaving them blind to the rising costs. Data Analysis is a useful tool but, it is only useful when one regularly and rigorously interrogates it; which it appears Cllr Dearden & his Chief Financial Officer fail to do.
So who gets the cash? Well the money trail in Apr – Sept 16/17 shows Recruitment Solutions (Folkestone) Ltd way out in the lead with £197,178, gaining 52% of all payments.
By Apr – Sept 17/18 the picture has changed dramatically. HR Go (Kent) Ltd, which is part of the HR Go group, a company alleged to be involved in “aggressive tax avoidance schemes” according to The Guardian, is No 1. They find themselves earning £170,928 in the first six months, gaining 27.5% of the pie. Recruitment Solutions (Folkestone) Ltd have slipped to third with only 16.4% of the pie.
We call upon Cllr Malcolm Dearden to resign his position as Cabinet Member for Finance. Just like we called on his fellow Cllr Alan John Ewart James to resign too. It is clear that neither of them care too much for public money for as we said, if trends continue both their budgets will break the £1 million pound barrier for the first time ever.
If you’d like to contact them with any concerns you may have about the runaway costs in temporary staff costs then they can be contacted by email at:
Please be polite.
The Shepwayvox Team