Answer (given by the Chief Executive as Head of Paid Service)
13 staff have left the service since 1st January 2017.
There are currently 6 Vacancies across the service, all of which are in the process of being recruited to.
Background and further detail:
While 13 ‘have left’ as of today, a further 5 members of staff are expected to leave over the next three months.
There are a range of reasons for people leaving. It is important to note that of the 8 Planning Officers who have left since the beginning of the year, only 2 of those have moved to another Local Authority – 6 of them have either moved to private practice, retired or changed career.
Recruitment is underway for the following posts:
2 Grade 6 Principal Planning roles – adverts will go out imminently. These roles have been advertised recently and we were only able to recruit one of the applicants so we will be advertising again, with a revised advert.
2 Grade 5 Senior Planner roles – adverts will go out imminently.
1 Grade 6 Senior Spatial Policy Planner (to provide extra capacity to deal with neighbourhood plans) – this is a new role to build capacity and respond to scrutiny review - advert being written
1 Grade 5 Infrastructure Officer – another new role to build capacity (advert about to go out)
1 Grade 4 Administrative officer (recruited, soon to start)
B*** N***** finishes at the end of this month. His replacement has been recruited and begins on 18th December.
T***** S**** has also finished his time with us but is not included in the above as that was wholly in line with the term of his interim appointment.
There are currently 3 consultants working within the DM team. We are trying to recruit a further 4 consultants in the immediate term to manage workload and provide cover during the transition from people leaving to being able to recruit their replacements. It is a challenge to find quality and experience in the marketplace, both for consultants and permanent positions.
Some general statistics about the challenges in recruitment:
As of June 2017 there were 147 vacancies for local authority planning staff across the East of England.
Almost 40% of senior planner vacancies across the East of England are covered by Agency staff.
Could we receive a regular update on the position?
Answer – Yes