Concerns have been raised about the money spent on agency and temporary staff at the council and children’s services company Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC).

Green councillor Rob White raised concern at the day rates for agency managers and the length of some temporary contracts.

One temporary staff member at BFfC has a two-year contract and earns £689 per day worked.

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And the highest temporary staff day rate is earned by the assistant director of finance at Reading Borough Council (RBC), who is paid £975 per day and has a 10-month contract.

Agency Manager Day Rates Rbc And Bffc

Agency Manager Day Rates Rbc And Bffc

Cllr White said: “24 months for the corporate parenting lead jumps out at me from the table of day rates.

“Can Cllr Emberson clarify what the reason is for such a long-serving temporary manager?”

Councillor Ellie Emberson, lead member for Corporate and Consumer Services, said: “I’m not going to comment on Brighter Futures matters because we have a lead councillor for BFfC and I don’t know the ins and outs of every single person we hire.

“I have no doubt Cllr Liz Terry would be happy to respond the specifics regarding that position.

“Regarding the top position, the assistant director of finance, I would point out that we have been unsuccessful in recruitment last year for this post, having had the previous assistant director depart the council.

“That is an example where it has not been possible or practical to not have someone in that post and that is why we’ve required agency spend.”

And Cllr Emberson said the council has significantly reduced spend on interim managers and agency staff.

Spend Over Last Four Years

Spend Over Last Four Years

Responding to the question on the BFfC temporary staff member on a 24-month contract, a Brighter Futures spokesman said: “The Corporate Parenting Lead is not a Brighter Futures for Children establishment role and was never intended to be so.

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“It’s an important time-limited ‘spend to save’ position, in that the specialist is leading on a specific project to deliver hundreds of thousands of pounds-worth of savings.

“This required someone with particular specialist skills and is paid for from Transformation Programme funding to improve children’s services.

“The role has, so far, delivered savings to target and has saved the company much more than it has cost to employ them. Funding for the post will end in March 2022.”