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Councils spend £1.7 billion on temps

Published: Wednesday, 11 June 2008   Category: Public sector

UK councils spent in excess of £1.7 billion employing agency and temporary staff during 20006/07, it has been reported.

Research carried out by the GMB trade union, unveiled at the GMB Congress in Plymouth this week indicated the level of investment made by authorities hiring non-permanent staff.

Lincolnshire CC spent the most on temps during the financial year at more than £54 million, with Cheshire CC close behind on £52 million.

Brian Strutton, GMB national secretary for the public services section, told the Congress this was "a horrific abuse of the public purse".

He added: "Too many councils are using cheap temps when they should be recruiting permanent staff who can be properly trained and given the experience that is necessary to provide quality local services to the public.”

"GMB Congress will call on Councillors across the land to get a grip on this out of control spending."

Recent university leavers may be concerned that an over-reliance on temporary workers could lead to a reduction in the number of permanent graduate job opportunities.

The GMB is a general trade union representing almost 600,000 members across all sectors of the economy.

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