News today* has revealed that the cost of temporary officers at Surrey County Council is £2.5m. The news comes at a time when the Council are proposing a number of cuts to essential services, affecting Children’s Centres, bus subsidies, Community Recycling Centres and Libraries.
Prior to the appointment of new Chief Executive, Joanna Killian, in March 2018, the Council had just one contract for an interim member of staff. The contract bill for temporary and interim staff now stands at £2.5m.
Cllr Fiona White, Liberal Democrat spokesperson on the People, Performance and Development Committee said:
“I have two reactions to this very disturbing news: firstly, can the previous officers, cleared out so rapidly, have been so ineffective that emergency recruitment has been necessary? If so, how did that happen?
“Secondly, there has been no democratic accountability in the appointment of these people, who may be wonderful, but their appointments have bypassed the appropriate scrutiny committee and been agreed without member involvement. The total bill is extortionate, and makes the difference between keeping our children’s centres open and closing so many of them.”