Slashing sick leave saves town hall big

Coun Karen Buckley'Fylde Council
Coun Karen Buckley'Fylde Council
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COUNCIL staff have been praised for slashing their sick leave and helping town hall bosses save thousands of pounds.

The number of days lost to sickness at Fylde Council has halved, with staff now missing an average of just over six days a year each for health issues.

And Coun Karen Buckley said that figure was one of the reasons the council now has an extra £682,000 in its coffers.

The “underspend” has been revealed in a financial report due to go before cabinet members on Tuesday night.

Coun Buckley, cabinet member for finance and resources, said: “It’s very good news for Fylde.

“As a cabinet we’re not surprised because we put the brakes on spending very early, because everybody knew what was coming down the track.

“The number of days lost for sickness has halved from around 13 days to just over six days which is fantastic and all down to the staff. What that means is we don’t have to spend money on agency staff filling in.”

As well as saving cash on agency staff, council chief executive Phil Woodward took a five per cent pay cut, vacancies were frozen and management staff instructed to halt all non-essential spending.

And Coun Buckley said money spent modernising the fleet of waste and recycling lorries had brought in efficiency savings.

But despite the savings, the council has no plans to splash the spare cash.

Coun Buckley added: “It’s money we need to save because the amount we’re getting from government has reduced and will reduce further.

“It’s really incumbent on us to be extra prudent and look to make savings every which way because, if you look at the forecast going forward, with a reducing Government grant, we still need to make savings.”