Lambeth council has employed almost 400 new senior managers with salaries of £50,000 or more over the past 10 years, says the latest shock report from People’s Audit Lambeth.
A total of 110 of those have been employed since the 2010-11 financial year – during which time Lambeth made almost 2,200 employees redundant at a staggering cost of more than £33 million in redundancy packages.
Lambeth council now spends £23.8 million a year extra on senior management compared to 2006/2007, say People’s Audit Lambeth. Even after adjusting for inflation, the figure still stands at an additional £19 million a year.
“Why so many additional managers are required to manage a diminishing workforce is something of a mystery” they say.
“To put this figure into context, £19 million is equivalent to the following:
- The annual budget for the library service for five years
- The cost of replacing 8,000 kitchens to council houses
- The playgrounds budget for 25 years
- The cost of building over 100 new council houses”The council are now more reliant on agency staff to fill the gaps left by redundancies and to provide the expertise to carry out the organisational redesign.”In a January 2017 decision to extend the contract for one of Lambeth’s largest agency supplier, Matrix SCM, Lambeth states “To continue providing a service to citizens whilst minimising redundancies, it has been necessary to fill vacancies with temporary labour.
“Additionally, we have been forced to temporarily engage specialists to deliver several change programmes across the council, where internal expertise is not available.”9
This means that between 2012/2013 and 2016/2017 the number of people employed by Lambeth through Matrix SCM has increased by 25 per cent, say People’s Audit Lambeth.
The report highlighted by People’s Audit Lambeth is dated April 2nd 2016 and headed ‘Extension of Temporary Agency Worker Contract’.
It seeks the approval of the extension of the managed service provider contract with Matrix Supply Chain Management for the period 2 January 2016 to 31 August 2016 whilst a new service is procured.
The cost over the extension period is estimated to be £26 million, the report adds. The decision was made by a cabinet member – not named in the report – under delegated powers.
The report adds: “To continue providing a service to citizens whilst minimising redundancies, it has been necessary to fill vacancies with temporary labour.
“Additionally, we have been forced to temporarily engage specialists to deliver several change programmes across the council, where internal expertise is not available, or the involvement of staff may present a conflict of interest.”
It appears Matrix had their contract renewed. In August 2017 Matrix posted: “Lambeth Award Matrix SCM Agency Staffing Contract for Third Term”
The statement says: “The council has a significant requirement for agency workers within social care qualified and unqualified. “Lambeth currently process 895,000 temporary agency worker hours through CR.Net (a Matrix company – Ed.) each year.
“We are delivering annual cashable savings of £4 million.”
The Matrix website says: “We help our clients reduce their year-on-year temporary staff spend by 8 to 12 per cent, delivering average annual savings of £30,000,000.”