Posted: Thu 16th Sep 2021

Flintshire Council could spend extra £500k a year on staff due to ‘pressing service demands’

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

Around £500,000 extra a year could be spent on staffing by a local authority due to an increased demand on its services.

Officials from Flintshire Council said dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic was one of a number of factors which had placed it under pressure.

Senior councillors are now being asked to approve “urgent” proposals to boost its workforce to prevent services from failing.

Approximately £115,000 a year would be spent on enforcement officers following a rise in parking, littering and dog fouling offences, as well as on encouraging people to change their behaviour.

Meanwhile, £106,000 would go towards the cost of two additional environmental health officers to address a backlog of safety inspections.

The council’s chief executive Colin Everett said both temporary and permanent posts were included in the plans.

In a report to members of the authority’s ruling Labour cabinet, he said: “This report makes urgent proposals to enhance organisational capacity in six areas of the workforce and to consolidate capacity in one further area.

“(This is) due to a combination of pressing service demands, the ongoing demands of managing the pandemic situation and the expectations of meeting the aims and objectives of the newly adopted council plan.

“Each proposal is supported by a business case. The proposals do not require any structural changes and do not place any current employees at risk.

“The cumulative cost of the proposals can be contained within a budget uplift of £500,000 in a full financial year.

“Through increasing organisational capacity the council will reduce the risks to business continuity and service failure.”

About £106,000 has been earmarked on staff to deliver town centre regeneration projects.

Mr Everett said it would ensure opportunities to secure external funding to improve high streets can be pursued.

A further £142,000 would be spent on officers to deal with increasing flooding issues.

He added: “Additional capacity will strengthen the council’s ability to support and protect communities and homeowners who suffer the effects and consequences of flooding.

“In addition, the adverse weather conditions in January 2021 resulted in ongoing investigations, remediation and investment requirements for drainage infrastructure.”

Cabinet members will be asked to approve the proposals when they meet on Tuesday (September 21, 2021).

It would result in just over £100,000 being spent from council reserves in the current financial year to cover job creation and recruitment costs.

The budget impact would increase to almost £488,000 by 2022/23.

Mr Everett said other “less urgent” plans to boost staffing would be brought forward at a later date.

Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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