Southern Region

Drop in 76,900 in council jobs in South East since 2010Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

Posted: 28 Nov 2017

SOUTH EAST 72 COUNCILS SHOW DROP IN HEADCOUNT OF 76,900 FOR EMPLOYMENT NUMBERS BETWEEN 2010 AND 2017 NEW GMB STUDY SHOWS

Every service such as social care, schools, housing and planning and waste collection, as well as licensing, business support, registrar services and pest control, have been impacted in one way or another says GMB

A new study by GMB of official data shows that between 2010 and 2017 there was a drop of 76,900 in the headcount for employment numbers in 72 local councils in the South East. In 2010 the 72 councils employed 297,800. By the second quarter the headcount had dropped to 220,900. This is a drop of 25.8%.

Over the same period the drop in headcount for all councils in England was 698,000. In 2010 councils in England had a headcount of 2,081,400. By the second quarter of 2017 the figure had dropped to 1,383,400. This is a drop of 33.5%.

The drop in headcount in Hart was 74.9% between 2010 and 2017. This was the biggest drop in the region. It was followed by Southampton where the drop was -64.1%, followed by Tonbridge and Malling -61.9%, Isle of Wight -60.6%, Dartford -52.5% and Oxfordshire -48.7%.

The figures for the 72 councils are set out in the table below. This is from a new study by GMB Southern Region of official data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) for 72 councils in the South East. It compares the headcount in Q2 2010 and Q2 2017 followed by the changes in numbers and in percentages.

See notes to editors for sources, definitions and qualifications. Journalists are advised to check with local councils on the reasons for the changes in the official headcount. For Central Bedfordshire for example in 2010 it ceased providing an HR/Payroll service to all schools – either local authority maintained or any academy and therefore the reduction in headcount is a reflection of this change in ‘payroll service’ rather than necessarily any significant change in employment numbers.

Changes in numbers employed by councils in the South East between 2010 and 2017
 
 
 
Q2 2010 headcount
Q2 2017 headcount
change
% change
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
Hart
478
120
-358
-74.9
2
Southampton
8,369
3,002
-5,367
-64.1
3
Tonbridge and Malling
735
280
-455
-61.9
4
Isle of Wight
6,593
2,596
-3,997
-60.6
5
Dartford
589
280
-309
-52.5
6
Oxfordshire
22,324
11,457
-10,867
-48.7
7
Wycombe
540
284
-256
-47.4
8
Medway
9,896
5,397
-4,499
-45.5
9
Aylesbury Vale
864
503
-361
-41.8
10
West Oxfordshire
387
230
-157
-40.6
11
Gosport
383
234
-149
-38.9
12
Adur & Worthing
1,458
891
-567
-38.9
13
Slough
4,094
2,553
-1,541
-37.6
14
Havant
433
272
-161
-37.2
15
Windsor and Maidenhead
5,624
3,579
-2,045
-36.4
16
Vale of White Horse
225
144
-81
-36.0
17
Woking
558
362
-196
-35.1
18
Runnymede
708
464
-244
-34.5
19
Wealden
537
353
-184
-34.3
20
Guildford
1,261
837
-424
-33.6
21
East Sussex
15,192
10,430
-4,762
-31.3
22
Hastings
597
411
-186
-31.2
23
Dover
474
333
-141
-29.7
24
Kent
36,760
26,002
-10,758
-29.3
25
West Sussex
25,783
18,402
-7,381
-28.6
26
West Berkshire
6,120
4,433
-1,687
-27.6
27
Shepway
528
387
-141
-26.7
28
Portsmouth
10,516
7,711
-2,805
-26.7
29
Wokingham
5,581
4,095
-1,486
-26.6
30
Crawley
803
590
-213
-26.5
31
Swale
429
327
-102
-23.8
32
Tunbridge Wells
410
326
-84
-20.5
33
Milton Keynes
6,959
5,628
-1,331
-19.1
34
Rother
316
256
-60
-19.0
35
Buckinghamshire
12,186
9,879
-2,307
-18.9
36
Reading
5,777
4,784
-993
-17.2
37
New Forest
1,695
1,410
-285
-16.8
38
Arun
491
417
-74
-15.1
39
Eastleigh
598
509
-89
-14.9
40
Surrey
30,717
26,252
-4,465
-14.5
41
Mole Valley
320
274
-46
-14.4
42
South Bucks
155
134
-21
-13.5
43
South Oxfordshire
267
231
-36
-13.5
44
Mid Sussex
364
322
-42
-11.5
45
Lewes & Eastbourne
1,043
925
-118
-11.3
46
Hampshire
42,159
37,669
-4,490
-10.7
47
Reigate and Banstead
570
511
-59
-10.4
48
Bracknell Forest
3,982
3,578
-404
-10.1
49
Sevenoaks
441
401
-40
-9.1
50
Maidstone
568
519
-49
-8.6
51
Tandridge
328
301
-27
-8.2
52
Rushmoor
321
295
-26
-8.1
53
Fareham
508
467
-41
-8.1
54
Winchester
539
498
-41
-7.6
55
Thanet
783
743
-40
-5.1
56
Test Valley
526
500
-26
-4.9
57
Waverley
468
448
-20
-4.3
58
Basingstoke and Deane
598
577
-21
-3.5
59
Spelthorne
327
317
-10
-3.1
60
Surrey Heath
265
257
-8
-3.0
61
Cherwell
535
522
-13
-2.4
62
Chichester
590
581
-9
-1.5
63
Epsom and Ewell
342
337
-5
-1.5
64
Brighton and Hove
9,337
9,217
-120
-1.3
65
East Hampshire
328
326
-2
-0.6
66
Chiltern
234
239
5
2.1
67
Ashford
449
459
10
2.2
68
Canterbury
731
762
31
4.2
69
Gravesham
553
587
34
6.1
70
Oxford
1,225
1,305
80
6.5
71
Horsham
511
584
73
14.3
72
Elmbridge
481
551
70
14.6
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
South East
297,800
220,900
-76,900
-25.8
 
England only
2,081,400
1,383,400
-698,000
-33.5

Paul Maloney, GMB Regional Secretary, said

“Local councils in the South East have been faced with savage cuts in the number of people they employ to carry out vital services for local residents. Even when changes in definitions and the movement of workers in and out of the council’s employment are taken into account the drop in headcount has been massive.

Changes of this magnitude have impacted on all the services that local government are responsible for people and businesses in their areas. Every service such as social care, schools, housing and planning and waste collection, as well as licensing, business support, registrar services and pest control, have been impacted in one way or another.

The chronic shortage of funds has particularly impacted on social care and the lack of capacity has had impacts further upstream in the National Health Service due to bed-blocking. In some areas street lighting has been turned off at night, giving rise to concerns over public safety. No area or service has been immune to the drop in headcount for 72 councils in the region of 76,900.

The message from GMB and from local councils to central government is that the cuts have gone far enough and in fact we need to start a period where the services are built back up again. This will be the central message that GMB will be taking to the electorate in forthcoming local council elections.”

ENDS

Contact: Paul Maloney 07801 343839 or Michelle Gordon 07866 369259 or GMB Press Office 0752 653 7405

Notes to editors:
1) Source: Quarterly Public Sector Employment Survey, Office for National Statistics.
2) In 2010 Central Bedfordshire Council ceased providing an HR/Payroll service to all schools – either local authority maintained or any academy and therefore the reduction in headcount is a reflection of this change in ‘payroll service’ rather than necessarily any significant change in employment numbers.
3) This data is collected and analysed by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and forms part of the ONS public sector employment statistics. The data for Local Authorities is published on the Local Government Association website with the expressed permission of Local Authorities. https://www.local.gov.uk/ons-quarterly-public-sector-employment-survey  
4) Headcount estimates are based on the number of employees with an employment contract who are being paid by the organisation. Employees can be permanent, on a fixed-term contract or employed on a casual basis. Self-employed, contract workers and agency workers are excluded.
5) Queries relating to the data should be directed to the ONS Press Office, telephone 0845 604 1858.
6) The data published is local authority employment data and includes teachers and teaching staff.
7) There is a known issue regarding Local Education Authority maintained schools in England which are opting out of local authority payroll administration. This survey asks for number of employees on the payroll and as such some schools will be missing from the survey results.
8) Further details on the methodology used can be found in the ‘Quality and Methodology’ information paper: https://www.ons.gov.uk/file?uri=/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/publicsectorpersonnel/qmis/publicsectoremploymentqmi/qmipse16finalforpub.pdf
9) Factors affecting employment in local and central government.
There is an ongoing shift of employment from local government to central government as a result of local authority maintained schools converting to academy status. Academies are classified to central government, whereas local authority maintained schools are classified to local government. As a result, whenever a local authority maintained school becomes an academy, its employees move from local government to central government. In June 2017 around 18,000 employees for the quarter and 65,000 for the year transferred over to academies.
Further Education corporations and Sixth Form College corporations in England are included in the private sector from Q2 2012 but in the public sector for earlier time periods.
In Q2 2012, English further education colleges were reclassified and an approximate 176,000 employees moved from central government to the private sector. English sixth-form college corporations were also reclassified from local government to the private sector; there was a transfer of employees with an approximate headcount of 20,000.
Comparisons of public and private sector employment over time are complicated by a number of major reclassifications, where bodies employing large numbers of people have moved between the public and private sectors. Journalists are advised to contact local councils to assess how these changes impact on the numbers shown above in the table.