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Council staff costs blowout – yet again

Council staff costs blowout – yet again

Wednesday, 10 October 2016, 2:24 pm

Auckland Council staff numbers are up again and it is now costing ratepayers $853m.

Auckland Councillor for Rodney, Greg Sayers, says ratepayers should be very concerned that not only is the wage bill up but the budget set of $811m was blown out by $42m.

“Auckland Council is out of control when it comes to delivering to its wages budget,” says Sayers.

“This $42m of overspending has completely wiped out the $37.5 million Council gained through the recent 2.5% rates increase. That means Council doesn’t have any extra money left to do anything extra.”

“This sustained and reckless waste of ratepayer’s money has failed to be reined in by Mayor Goff. Looking at the trends, ratepayers should take no comfort that council’s management won’t blow-out the budget again next year.”

“Last year the Council group wages were overspent by $32m. The year before at by $63m and the previous year again overspent by $50m.”

Cr Sayers tried to get a cap placed on the wages during the Annual Plan process but was out voted after Mr Stephen Town, the Chief Executive of Auckland Council, advised councillors he was unable to achieve that without front line service being dropped.

“Aucklander’s were promised that the Super City would do more with less staff. But the Mayor completely squandered the opportunity I presented to him,” says Sayers

“Until the tail stops wagging the dog and the Mayor holds management to account, then ratepayers will continue to distrust Council’s ability to make good decisions”

“The expensive value for money report the Mayor has commissioned will show what the public already knows, that Council’s needs the Governing Body to govern better,” says Sayers.

“The fact is council’s middle management is over staffed and the Mayor is too afraid to give the executive order that enough is enough”

Mr Sayers says the latest 206/17 Annual report shows a total headcount of the Auckland Council Group has increased by 302 employees from 11,591 to 11,893 in the past 12 months.

“Of course we need certain employees to keep up with Auckland’s growth needs. There are a lot of excellent people within Council”

"However, a budget is a budget and ratepayers should rightly expect that council’s management is held fully to account by the politicians if they don’t stick to their budgets.”

ENDS

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