Wages being offered by Calderdale Council is having impact on some services

The wage Calderdale Council can offer is having an impact on some services when they are tempted away for higher pay, including planning, councillors heard.

Friday, 24th September 2021, 10:00 am
Wages being offered to council staff were being discussed by councillors

Calderdale Council has debated planning recently, acknowledging there have been issues with the service, and members of the authority’s Strategy and Performance Scrutiny Board heard finance was one of the reasons.

Coun Daniel Sutherland (Lab, Illingworth and Mixenden) raised the issue during a discussion on the council’s financial position at the moment, and said there were some services where budgets were not in line with the reality they were operating in.

“In certain areas some things have become much more challenging.

“Planning is one we get a lot of contact about as councillors and it is a service that is stretched,” he said.

Head of Finance, Nigel Broadbent, said most of planning’s overspend currently was associated with one-off costs relating to the Local Plan, where the latest stage of hearings is set to be held over two days later this month.

But the underlying budget would have to be looked at too, he said.

Coun Steven Leigh (Con, Ryburn) agreed planning definitely faces issues, but he was not convinced that throwing more money at a problem always solved it.

Coun Jacob Cook (Con, Greetland and Stainland) said it was an issue that staff leaving were being offered more money from other councils and in this case putting more budget it might solve some of the department’s issues.

Cabinet member for Resources, Coun Silvia Dacre (Lab, Todmorden) said money was an issue where planning was concerned at the moment.

“We are a small council and our salary level tends to be lower than adjoining councils.

“There is a risk we lose staff who go to better paid jobs in other authorities – from that perspective, it is about money,” she said.

But, she added: “At the moment we are not in a position to think about increasing scales across the council.”

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