Number of social services workers in Wales falls for 11th year in a row
Official Welsh Government statistics released today show that the number of staff in local authority social services departments has fallen by 23.3% since 2006/07.
Year-on-year declines have been registered ever since then, dropping from 20,471 whole-time equivalent (WTE) employees to 15,707 in 2017/18.
The number of WTE staff fell in 17 of Wales’ 22 local authorities when compared to 2014/15 (the furthest back comparable records go).
Three of these five councils in which the numbers increased are governed by Conservatives alone or with another group – Monmouthshire (13.7%), Powys (1.8%), and the Vale of Glamorgan (3.9%).
Since 2014/15, Gwynedd (241, 24.4%), Wrexham (153, 19.9%), and Rhondda Cynon Taf (242, 14.1%) lost the greatest number and proportion of their department workforce in that period. Another nine councils recorded above the Welsh average drop 7.6%.
This follows news from last week that the Welsh Labour Government have cut the local government settlement for 2019/20, inflicting cuts on 15 councils in Wales, increasing or freezing the budget for six Labour-run councils in South Wales.
Welsh Conservative and Shadow Social Services Secretary Janet Finch-Saunders AM said:
“The dramatic fall in the number of social services department workers is just one of the significant consequences of the Welsh Labour Government cutting local authority services.
“Councils have to deal with the everyday, bread-and-butter issues of communities across Wales and social workers have a huge part to play in that, ensuring the safety the vulnerable and preserve a cohesive society.
“Out of the nine Labour-run councils, social worker numbers are down in eight of them – this only goes to demonstrate that much of the hardship experienced by people across the country is down to Welsh Labour’s poor mismanagement.
“Just like with GPs and teachers, a retention and recruitment crisis is developing on the Welsh Labour Government’s watch, and it’s the people of Wales that are paying the price.”
Notes to Editors:
Statistics obtained via official Welsh Government figures, published via the below links