Some fascinating data on the Daily Telegraph's website comparing councils on a number of matters including their spending on foreign travel. The survey was carried out by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism and is due to be covered on tonight's Channel Four News. Freedom of Information requests showed councils have spent more than £500 million in the past three years on redundancy costs and other pay-offs. It also showed £3 millon spent on private health care and detailed spending on foreign travel as well as comparing sickness rates.
Grant Shapps, Local Government Minister, says:
“The systematic abuse of public money is both breathtaking and unforgivable.
“It seems that junkets, jollies and golden goodbyes became a perk of working in local government during Labours time in power.
“What makes this discovery all the more alarming is that this was happening as hardworking households had to cope with council tax doubling.
“If councils cut out this colossal waste then they should be able to protect frontline services.”
Sunderland spent the most of foreign trips last year £82,228.87. (Somerset on £57,185.32 came a long way behind, followed by Kent on £56,044.84, Birmingham on £52,250.00 and Aberdeen on £43,077.66.) Amon London councils the biggest spender on jnkets last year was Waltham Forest – on £20,056.89 – followed by Haringey – £10,260.
Other interesting data is the list of ten councils with the highest number of employees on sick leave for over six months:
Suffolk County Council 208
Cornwall Council 198
Torfaen County Borough Council 191
Rotherham Metropolitan Borough 175
Aberdeen City Council 169
Manchester City Council 167
Caerphilly County Borough 145
Aberdeenshire Council 122
Newport City Council 117
Fife Council 115
While here is a list of the ten councils with the highest sickness absence rates last year:
Aberdeen City Council 15.58
Walsall Metropolitan 14.65
Lewes District 13.96
Doncaster Metropolitan 13.57
Salford City 16.57
Birmingham City 15.56
Bridgend County 13.41
Craven District 13.37
Met Borough 13.32
West Lothian 13.30