Monday, 12 October 2009

Those FOI figures in full

We are finally able to publish the results of what we have uncovered from our Freedom of Information requests on how much councils spend on agency workers and consultants.

The headline figures are that councils in the region spent more than a whopping £150m on these areas. And that does not include Derby City Council consultant costs or Northamptonshire County Council agency worker and consultant costs as these two councils refused to give us the info saying their systems did not allow them to access this information easily!

If you want to see the figures for all councils in the East Midlands click

We are sure that like us, you will be staggered by the wide range of figures – and the potential savings that can be made.

All we are asking councils to do is to set up some proper management and control mechanisms to control these costs. Corby Council managed to reduce their costs in these areas from £3.1m to £1.1 in three years. If you want to see more details read
this report sent to their Overview and Scrutiny Committee in July this year. If they can do it – so can others. UNISON have produced an action plan for councils on how to reduce their costs in these areas. Click here to see a copy.

Corby did very well cutting costs by over 50%. We don;t expect all councils to do as well, but if councils could save just a modest 10 per cent of their costs, that would be £15m to put into frontline services. The equivalent to around 1,000 homecare workers; or 1,000 teaching assistants.

UNISON says “cut waste, not services.”

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