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Surrey Liberal Democrats achieve restrictions on high cost staff

March 19, 2019 8:59 PM

Will & ChrisThe Liberal Democrats today saw success when their motion aimed at cutting the costs spent on interim staff at Surrey County Council was adopted. The motion, proposed by Cllr Chris Botten, and seconded by Cllr Will Forster was produced in reaction to recent news that Surrey was recruiting for another interim manager on a £90,000+ annual salary.

The motion approved by Council read:

This Council:
• believes in the importance of equitable wage ratio;
• notes the 60+ consultants currently appointed on interim contracts;
• recognises that interim contracts are often far more costly than those of permanent staff, with the Programme Manager currently being recruited for with a potential salary of £98,000/year on a two year fixed term contract;
• acknowledges that many residents within Surrey are struggling to make ends meet and facing higher Council Tax bills;
• notes the ongoing cuts to essential Council services including children's centres, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) provisions and bus subsidies;
• notes that a number of senior appointments are not being approved by the People, Performance and Development Committee (PPDC) where they ought to be.

This Council therefore resolves to:
• adopt a policy of recruiting to permanent positions where appropriate;
• work with the Surrey Boroughs and Districts to share talent and resource where possible to contain the overall Surrey payroll costs.

Chris Botten, County Councillor for Caterham Hill, said:
"There should be no area of the council's budget which is under less rigorous control than others. We believe staffing has been an area with inadequate scrutiny and we need to rein it back by looking at sharing employee resource with Boroughs and Districts wherever possible. There is excellent practice in this country in post sharing and we are pleased our motion was accepted by the Council."

Will Forster, County Councillor for Woking South, said:
"Surrey County Council cannot plead poverty, and ask both the public and Government for more money, whilst at the same time pay such high salaries to staff for such a short space of time. The Council needs to get its act together on interim staff pay."

"The Lib Dems and I want the County Council to only appoint temporary staff when absolute necessary. Currently, the Council employs far too many interim staff and at a high cost."