TaxPayers’ Alliance accuses local council of continuing 4-day week experiment “by stealth”

For immediate release


  • South Cambridgeshire District Council trial to continue without vote at full council, breaking promises made by council leader

  • Saving on agency staff significantly revised down from £1 million at start of trial to £776,000 to £434,000

  • TPA accuses council of continuing 4-day week experiment “by stealth”

The TaxPayers’ Alliance have accused South Cambridgeshire District Council of trying to continue its 4-day week experiment “by stealth” as a new council report proposes that the trial continue without being voted on by full council, or a further consultation.


The report, published by the Employment and Staffing Committee, argues that the council needs to “understand the proposed changes from government in order to run its own consultation effectively” and that the council should continue “with its four-day week arrangements, until the government has provided the required information.” Only at this point should councillors at a full council meeting be given the chance to decide “to become a permanent four-day week employer or not.”


This is despite the leader of the council, councillor Bridget Smith, saying in October “at the end of the trial, we will present the evidence to residents and businesses and all councillors will then decide whether to continue with a four-day week.” She further confirmed this at a full council meeting on 20th November.


Further questions about the council’s honesty with its residents and voters have also been asked, after the council claimed that £434,000 has been saved by filling roles previously held by agency staff between September 2022 and December 2023. This is significantly below the £1 million savings that were claimed at the beginning of the trial and below the £776,000 savings claimed as recently as November 2023.


And as revealed today by the TaxPayers’ Alliance, the claim made in the report published in November, that “the number of agency staff covering vacancies has reduced from 23 to 9” included five roles filled before the trial started.

Elliot Keck head of campaigns at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

"From day one this sordid experiment has been riddled with cover-ups, dishonesty and shifting goal posts

“Local residents have been treated like guinea pigs for over a year, and yet despite enormous pressure on the council, this experiment is going to continue by stealth.

“Town hall bosses should hang their heads in shame at the sorry state that they’ve reduced this local authority to”


TPA spokespeople are available for live and pre-recorded broadcast interviews via 07795 084 113 (no texts)

Media contact:


Elliot Keck
Head of Campaigns, TaxPayers' Alliance
[email protected]
24-hour media hotline: 07795 084 113 (no texts)


Notes to editors:

  1. Founded in 2004 by Matthew Elliott and Andrew Allum, the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) campaigns to reform taxes and public services, cut waste and speak up for British taxpayers. Find out more at

  2. TaxPayers' Alliance's advisory council.

  3. The TaxPayers’ Alliance is campaigning against 4-day weeks in the public sector
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