Laura Sharman 23 August 2018

Equal pay claims will put 'unprecedented' pressure on council, warns watchdog

Equal pay claims will put unprecedented pressure on council, warns watchdog image

The cost of resolving equal pay claims could put 'unprecedented financial pressure' on council services in Glasgow, the spending watchdog has warned.

In a new report, the Accounts Commission said that while Glasgow City Council has made 'steady progress' over the last decade, the equal pay claims could significantly affect how the council delivers services.

It warned the cost of meeting the claims is unlikely to be covered by traditional funding options such as the use of existing reserves or selling assets.

Graham Sharp, chair of the Accounts Commission, said: 'The scale and complexity of Glasgow's socio-economic challenges are unique in Scotland and, like all local authorities, it's facing considerable financial pressures.

The council has made steady progress since our last report and has a good track record in making savings, but we are seriously concerned about the impact that resolving equal pay claims could have on how the council delivers public services, and we will be continuing to take a close interest in that issue.'

The report praised the council's 'effective leadership and record of strong financial management', highlighting the fact £102.5m of savings have been made through its Transformation Programme over the last two years.

Susan Aitken, leader of the council, said: 'At the heart of any Best Value audit is the question of whether the council is delivering quality services that respond to the needs of individuals and communities - and I'm pleased that clear and steady progress in Glasgow has been recognised.

'We are still relatively early in the current council term, but the City Government has translated its priorities into a positive strategic plan for the council and the city, which has the support of all parties.'

She added: 'The challenge of resolving equal pay is substantial and it would be unusual if it wasn't a focus for the audit team. However, it is a challenge we are committed to deal with and we are making substantial progress.'

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Social Worker - Early Interventions

Essex County Council
£32065 - £43839 per annum
Social Worker - Early Interventions Permanent, Full Time £32,065 - £43,839 per annum Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Worker - Local Linked Support Team

Essex County Council
£32065 - £43839 per annum
This is a full time fixed term contract for 12 month or a 12 month Secondment.About the RoleThis is a community-based role within the Harlow area. You England, Essex, Epping
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Property and Projects Lawyer

Brent Council
£43,860 - £49,827 p.a. inc.(pro rata)
The successful candidate will have the opportunity to supervise junior staff and deputise in the absence of the Senior Property Lawyer. Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Training and Quality Assurance Specialist

Essex County Council
Up to £26801 per annum
The OpportunityEssex Registration Service is one of the largest authorities in the Country, serving thousands of customers in the Registration of Bir England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Business Support Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£29,359
We have recently changed the way that we work so that we are more responsive to... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue