Thanet council paid out £161,307 on agency staff in just one month this Summer.
Details showing all payments over £250 made by Thanet council in July reveal 67 separate agency staff payments with the vast majority being for operational services provided by HR Go (Kent) Ltd and Chuk Ltd. Operational services cover areas such as street cleaning and bin collections.
Payments for agency staff covering operational services came to £151,053. In June the bill for operational services agency staff was £159, 899, making a total of £310,952 for both months.
A Thanet council spokesman said: “Resources for our manual workforce often varies depending on the time of year. For example, with Thanet being one of the fastest growing tourism economies in the UK, more street cleaning resource is required to cope with the extra people visiting our beaches during the summer season.
“Agency staff will often be called upon during particularly good weather, and normally at very short notice, which provides much needed flexibility to the service we provide.”
The payments document also reveals a £678.67 hotel bill for council chief executive Madeleine Homer’s stay at the Crowne Plaza Birmingham on July 26.
Thanet council says: “The expenses are for a two night stay for the LGA Conference in Birmingham that was held from the 4th – 6th July. The expenses are for accommodation for the Chief Executive for two nights and Leader for three nights.”
Among the accounts are numerous payments to The Glenwood Hotel, the Florence Court Hotel, B & B 63 and The Connaught Hotel in Dover and one to Paramount Independent Property listed under housing.
Emergency accommodation costs at the hotels came to £59, 125,
Paramount Property, which specialises in rental accommodation, was paid £108,214.00
A payment to the Margate Harbour Arm Company, which has a lease on the harbour arm for a peppercorn rent of £1 per year from 2008 running until February 2021, of £3,292 was made for ‘community services’ listed as ‘various categories.’
Litter police firm Kingdom also received payment for the month of £9116.65 for ‘street and traffic management services.”