Council Staff Bill Soars By £300,000 Despite Restructuring

town hall 8The Council’s Chief Executive has confirmed that next year’s staff costs will be over £300,000 more than the current financial year, despite the restructuring.

But Theo Leisjer insisted that he had reached his £500,000 savings target and said the extra costs were due to the recruitment of new employees to keep the Council “legal.”

Mr Leisjer was responding to questions from Cllr Ted Moulson at yesterday’s Full Council meeting, where members approved the budgets for 2015/16.

Ted asked why, in a breakdown of staff costs, there was an increase from £5.53m this year to £5.85m next year.

“The total increase is £312,000,” said Ted, “not a saving of £400,00.”

Mr Leisjer insisted that comparing “like for like” he had reduced staff costs from £3.9m to £3.4m.

But he said the total bill had increased because new staff had to be brought in to allow the Council to carry out its statutory functions.

He said there was also an increase in salaries and pension commitments.

Cllr Fran Grottick sought reassurance that the twelve vacant staff positions would not add several hundred thousands in extra cost to the budget, but Mr Leisjer said those had already been included in the figures.

Councillors agreed to a 1.99% increase in Council Tax to fund the extra spending, the maximum allowed before a local referendum is required.

There’ll also be an increase of 2.2% across most fees and charges to help cover the rise in staff salaries.

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