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Why have you spent £3m on agency staff?

Agency staff are used in a range of situations, for instance as a way to fill gaps to ensure services continue to be delivered, this in particular is the case in social care where there have been staff shortages, not unlike the problems the health service has in recruiting full-time nurses. We are looking at ways to try and improve recruitment and retention in social care but this is a national problem.  Other areas of spend tend to be where the Council has short term increases in work, for example in the building and highways divisions.  Rather than employ permanent staff who would then need to be made redundant, agency staff are used.  Agency are also used to cover one off specialised work where we don’t have the skills in-house.  All agency spend is monitored closely to ensure it is appropriate and achieving value for money.