Troubled Northamptonshire County Council sheds 2,600 staff within four years

One Angel Square
One Angel Square

More than 2,600 employees have left troubled Northamptonshire County Council since 2014, it can be revealed.

Although more than half of the 2,663 leavers were replaced - there are now nearly 1,100 less people working for the authority than there were four years ago.

In February 2014 there were 4,762 people working at the NCC but by February this year, that total had dropped to 3,669.

The county council says that some of the figures can be accounted for by the move to its failed ‘arms length’ organisation First for Wellbeing during 2016/17.

A Freedom of Information request by this paper showed the number of leavers to be 234 in 2014, 239 in 2015, a huge 1,341 in 2016, 804 in 2017 and 45 up to February of this year. That’s a total of 2,663 people.

The total number of resignations since 2014 was 1,223. The largest number of these came in 2016 when 490 people decided to leave the authority off their own bat.

There were 154 redundancies and 149 people retired during the four years since 2014.

A total of 66 people were sacked and 62 people came to the end of their fixed-term contract.

The figures don’t include school staff.

The news comes as the authority asked the majority of its employees to consider voluntary redundancy because of the financial mess it is in.

We also recently revealed that more than half of social workers employed by the county council left their jobs within a year.

In 2016/17 NCC set up {https://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/northamptonshire-county-council-votes-to-scrap-first-for-wellbeing-company-just-two-years-after-setting-it-up-1-8414026 |First for Wellbeing|} which was designed to look after its stop smoking, alcohol, housing and adult learning services.

Its other ‘arms length’ company Olympus Care was set up in 2012 to look after adults with disabilities and older people. In 2017 this was merged with its adult social care department to form NASS.

Employees were moved over to these organisations but their services have now been brought back in-house after it became impossible for them to be funded by the cash-strapped authority which is currently being overseen by Government inspectors after years of financial mismanagement.

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: “In a large, complex organisation like the county council which employs thousands of people there is always a natural turnover of staff with people leaving and arriving every year.

“The relatively significant changes in headcount in 2016 and 2017 can be attributed to staff being transferred into arms-length organisations such as First for Wellbeing.

“So although some of these workers were not technically county council employees they were still delivering services to county council policy.”