Surrey County Council has sliced £1.6 million from its pay bill as part of a drive to ensure it provides maximum value for money.
The savings – made in less than a year* – were brought about through staff restructuring, pay restraint and more efficient working practices.
Workforce reductions were achieved by not replacing staff after they move to another job or retire and by not filling positions immediately**.
The news comes in the week that the latest Local Government Earnings Survey revealed that councils in England and Wales have cut £1.4 billion from their annual pay bill.
In the past two years, the authority’s savings have reached £130m following the launch of an efficiency programme of Public Value Reviews***.
Surrey County Council leader David Hodge said: “Our aim is to provide the highest quality services at the very best value for money.
“By doing things more efficiently, we have saved £1.6m for taxpayers from our pay bill while continuing to give them excellent services.”
As well as reducing staffing costs, Surrey saved £34 million in the last financial year by striking better deals with contractors.
Successes include a new road maintenance and improvement contract with May Gurney which saves £4.1m annually when compared with the previous deal.
* Over 11 months to this February. At any one time Surrey has around 130 vacancies.
** Staffing levels for the delivery of day to day frontline services were not affected.
*** The three-year efficiency programme examines all the council’s services and looks at what is done well, what can be done better and where savings can be made.