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STAFFING INCREASES SHOW BIG GAP BETWEEN COUNCILS

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Staffing differences such as those between Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire county councils must be questioned acc...
Staffing differences such as those between Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire county councils must be questioned according to Bob Chiltern, the Audit Commission's head of local government studies, reports BBC Three Counties.

An Audit Commission report published today says local authorities could save £500m on white collar salaries. It says staff numbers at Hertfordshire CC have risen by 27% in the six years from 1987 compared with only 9% at Buckinghamshire CC during the same period.

Mr Chiltern said local government was a people business in which staff provided services.

'The question is whether they need as many staff as they have for the level of services they are providing, whether they are paying them more than they need to in the present job market and whether they are as productive as they are.

'When you compare one council with another you find massive differences in how many people they have, what they are paying them to do the same job and how productive they are. Councils are really quite secretive about this information and we are advocating much more open comparison of that information', added Mr Chiltern.
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