A review via the webcast of the 35 minutes of People Scrutiny meeting that I missed reveals
little of note. Cabinet member Philip Read updated some of the figures relating
to social workers which he has been striving to improve.
At the beginning of October the permanent staff had risen to 65%. More newly trained staff had been recruited to replace some of the remaining 35% of experienced agency staff, 58% of whom have been with Bexley for more than a year.
The cost of agency staff is high and Bexley has been working to persuade other London boroughs to sign up to its ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ which aims to cut agency pay rates. 27 have now been recruited with a 28th, Tower Hamlets, recently becoming an easy target.
He was “happy” that his expectation is that Bexley will save about £75,000 per annum.
Laudable though Read’s aims may be, would we be thinking the same if the supermarkets gathered together in a price fixing cartel to cap the amount they were prepared to pay their suppliers?