Criticism mounts as councils nationwide hire hundreds for Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion roles, with spending reaching £28 million.
Amid escalating council tax rates and diminishing services, UK local authorities are facing criticism for reportedly allocating millions to “woke” jobs. Approximately 750 Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion positions have been filled across various councils, funded by taxpayers. These roles, designed to help councils meet their equality commitments, have attracted scrutiny for their total cost, estimated at an eye-watering £28 million.
Rupert Lowe, Reform UK’s business spokesperson, expressed strong disapproval, stating, “Diversity, inclusion, and equity are woke buzzwords which need to be eradicated from the public sector. It’s acceptable for private companies to spend on these areas, but taxpayer-funded positions like these must be scrapped. This woke infestation has gone too far.”
Birmingham City Council, despite declaring near-bankruptcy in September, maintains 18 such positions, costing taxpayers £634,816. Similarly, Luton Council employs nine staff in these roles, incurring a £451,399 expense. Council leader Hazel Simmons defended the need for such positions, emphasising the importance of addressing inequality and promoting diversity and inclusion.
The data, obtained via Freedom of Information requests sent to 372 councils, revealed that out of the 247 councils that responded, 498 staff are employed in Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion roles, costing £18.1 million. When estimating for non-respondent councils, the figure escalates to 746 roles, totaling £28.2 million.
These expenditures have sparked public concern, especially as many local councils grapple with financial challenges. Councillor Stephen Holt of Eastbourne Borough Council warned of potential multiple council bankruptcies without governmental support. Leicester City Council also echoed these concerns, facing the threat of financial collapse without urgent government aid.
The situation has led to urgent calls for a reevaluation of council spending priorities, particularly in light of the increasing pressure on public services and the growing homelessness crisis. Story Source