Bath and North East Somerset Council overspend by £865,000

Bath and North East Somerset Council has overspent by more than £865,000 on using agency workers to cover illness and maternity in the children’s social work sector.

The rising use of agency workers to provide cover for staff absence has led to an increasing in staffing costs in the year leading up to March 2016. The target budget for children, young people and families within children's services for the year had been £12.1 million.

However, figures released as part of an annual report into the council’s finances revealed it had exceeded the budget.

A spokesman for Bath and North East Somerset said: "The agency staff covered a number of posts where staff were on maternity leave and a small number of cases of long term illness, we also use agency staff to cover vacancies until we are able to recruit.

"Over recent months we have had a number of staff return to their posts and we have recruited a number of new social workers and senior social workers, so reliance on agency staff is reducing."