| 18.5°C Belfast

Group urges town halls to cut waste


Town halls have been urged to cut down on 'waste'

Town halls have been urged to cut down on 'waste'

Town halls have been urged to cut down on 'waste'

Town halls have been urged to cut down on waste after research suggested they were employing more than 500 diversity officers.

A survey found councils across the UK had the equivalent of 543 full-time diversity posts in 2009/10, costing nearly £20 million.

Birmingham accounted for just under £2 million of that figure, with 28 staff responsible for its arrangements, according to responses to freedom of information requests by the TaxPayers' Alliance.

Councils also apparently spent £5 million on 141 jobs for political advisors, £6 million on 183 European Officer posts, and £10 million on 350 Climate Change Officer roles.

The figures do not cover staff on local police forces or health trusts.

Chris Daniel, a policy analyst at the pressure group, said the findings highlighted major differences in the way councils interpreted their legal responsibilities. Manchester and Brighton & Hove employed no diversity officers, while Liverpool had seven, he claimed.

"These jobs are all the result of councils going too far in following the edicts of central government, instead of focussing on local priorities; or chasing grants that are, in the end, more than paid for by British taxpayers," Mr Daniel said.

However, the Local Government Association - which represents hundreds of councils across England and Wales - dismissed the research as "slapdash".

"This slapdash research fails to acknowledge the huge savings that these members of staff bring to the work of their councils," chief executive John Ransford said.

"Anything more than a cursory analysis of these figures will show that what the Taxpayers' Alliance call unnecessary jobs actually help to ensure that hardworking people get value for money for the taxes they pay."

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

Top Videos