SENIOR Conservatives have called for Labour to come clean on its spend on non- permanent staff.
Figures obtained by Thurrock Conservatives show that last year the Labour-run authority spent over £6.6million on temporary staff and nearly further £2.75 million on ‘consultants fees’. Councillor Rob Gledhill said “Since taking control in 2010 Labour have pillared Conservatives for their spending on non permanent staff. That was at a time when the Labour Government were only granting funds for specific jobs on a year by year basis. However, despite the council having fewer schools to manage and Labour continually moaning that they are having to cut services, the bill for temporary staff and consultants is soaring to over £9.3 million.”
The figures were obtained from the Council’s obligation to list its payments to suppliers on its website. These figures show £5.2 million spent as a bulk payment to temporary staff company Comensura, over £780,000 on other agency staff and £690,000 on supply staff. In 2010 Labour introduced a single supplier for temporary staff to reduce the cost of temps by 25%. However their own figures show the use of at least 50 other temporary staff suppliers meaning they are not sticking their own plans to reduce this expenditure. Payments listed under the £2.75 million consultants fees mainly relate to specialist service suppliers such as accountants or transformation specialists but also include £175,000 to unnamed individuals and payments to Barclaycard, Orsett Hall and Costco.
Councillor Gledhill added “This spend equates to nearly 20% of the Council’s direct wages bill. But with Labour blaming their recent bin failures on temporary staff and ‘Consultant’ payments to Costco and Orsett Hall begs the question, is it being spent wisely at a time when they are cutting services and increasing Council Tax? Thurrock Labour are very quick to mention our spending on temps and consultants but seem to forget that, despite their promises, they are much, much worse. It is time they came clean on their ‘spend now and blame Conservatives later’ approach to running Thurrock Council and get a grip of spending tax payers money.”