Ealing Council has failed to make any progress over the last year in cutting the cost of its senior management team. In fact it has gone up by 2.2%. The Labour council has tried to dramatise the magnitude of the cuts it is facing by exaggerating them and repeating the mantra that the government is going to far and too fast but here is a case of Labour going not very far, slowly. Compared to the 50% hit taken by some frontline services the councilâ€™s senior management team has got off lightly and it looks like the process has run its course.
For the last three years the Conservatives have asked the same carefully worded question to keep track of this. Last year there was modest fall of 7.7% in total costs and the management headcount fell by 8. This year the headcount has crept up by 1 and the bill by 2.2%. Most of this rise is accounted for by National Insurance changes as pay has been frozen for this group and there seems to have been little or no grade inflation, but it is noteworthy that one new manager has been added to the numbers.
In October 2010 the former council leader asked a series of 3 questions (40-42, here) asking how many and how much the senior management team at Ealing council cost. In October 2011 I repeated the questions (15,17 and 18, here) to see how much Labour has saved on the senior management team in the course of a year. I repeated the process this April (questions 15, 16 and 18, here). The answers are tabulated below.