In just one year (2014-15) they spent £6.5 million on agency staff while other services such as museums and art galleries face the axe.
The Council argue that they haven’t been able to find suitable candidates to fill the posts which agency staff are used to fill and this is understandable in the short term, but the extent to which this is necessary is quite staggering.
Indeed, in the year before (2013-14), agency costs were £6.6 million showing that this is a situation that has been ongoing for quite some time. It smacks of poor planning and a lack of urgency that such situations can drag out for over two years. It will be interesting to see whether agency staff expenditure falls in the current financial year which would mark an improvement.
Dudley residents will be disheartened that the council is relying so heavily on expensive agency staff while services are being squeezed. Councils across the country are having to make savings and so it is more vital than ever that taxpayers get value for money. Dudley Council has to acknowledge this and reduce their agency staff costs.