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Tories angered by East End town hall wage bill

PUBLISHED: 14:49 09 January 2009 | UPDATED: 13:57 05 October 2010

TORY councillors are demanding answers after the latest figures revealed the Town Hall are paying their agency staff up to £130 an hour. Last year an interim or agency member of staff working for Tower Hamlets council, was paid the equivalent of £211,00

TORY councillors are demanding answers after the latest figures revealed the Town Hall is paying their agency staff up to £130 an hour.

Last year an interim or agency member of staff working for Tower Hamlets council, was paid the equivalent of £211,000 a year, according to data obtained by the borough's Tory councillor David Snowdon.

Around 24 agency or interim workers were paid £70 or more an hour last year and at least three received a higher salary than the council's chief executive Martin Smith.

The data gives a breakdown of how many workers received what, during August.

Cllr Snowdon raised his concerns over the "outrageous rates" with Labour's finance chief Josh Peck at Tower Hamlets council's Cabinet meeting, but says he is still waiting for a response.

He said: "Paying £130 an hour is an awful lot of money. I want to know if the council think that is good value for money.

"Considering that there are public sector staff in Tower Hamlets being paid less than the £7.45 London Living Wage set by the GLA, this is an issue which Labour will not be able to brush quietly under the carpet."

The council's director of human resources, Deb Clarke, insists the authority seeks to avoid keeping agency or interim staff beyond a year and their work is closely monitored.

The total number of agency staff employed fell from 1,658 to 1,176 in two months last year, but there were still 290 agency staff employed for 12 months.


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