Councils boost numbers of high-flying black and minority ethnic staff

England’s local authorities have seen the first increase in the proportion of black and minority ethnic staff among their top earners since 2002.

The 2005-06 Best Value Performance Indicators (BVPIs), compiled by the Audit Commission, show that the average percentage of black and minority ethnic staff among local authorities’ top 5% of earners was 3.3% -up from 2.6% in 2004-05.

In London, the figure was 11.9%, while in county councils it was only 1.7%.

However, 167 of the 411 local authorities did not have a single person from black and minority ethnic communities among their top earners – still an improvement on the previous year, when the figure was 189.

The BVPIs were devised to allow councils in England to review and benchmark their performance in several areas. The figures show that in 2005-06 they also increased the percentage of women in their top earning group, from 29.8% to 31.8%.

They also reveal staff absence rates. The average council lost 9.6 days’ work per employee in 2005-06, down from 9.7 in 2004-05. The best was South Shropshire, with just 2.9 days’ absence per employee. The worst was Erewash Borough Council in Derbyshire, losing 16.8 days per employee.

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