Local councils spend millions on 'woke' job roles despite fears of being on brink of bankruptcy

Birmingham City Council

Birmingham City Council has 18 “woke” positions, despite declaring themselves bankrupt earlier this year

Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 20/11/2023

- 16:21

Updated: 20/11/2023

- 17:02

As many as 750 are employed in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion roles

Councils are reportedly spending millions on “woke” jobs as council tax rates rise and services are being cut.

Local authorities across the UK have recruited 750 people for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion roles.

The taxpayer-funded employees are there to ensure councils meet equality commitments.

However, critics have slammed the posts, paid up to an eye-watering £28million in total, which have “infested” local government.

WATCH NOW: Tonia Buxton fumes at woke council

“Diversity, inclusion and equity are woke buzzwords which need to be eradicated from the public sector,” Reform UK business spokesperson Rupert Lowe told the Express

“If private companies choose to waste their money on this nonsense that is their decision, but we must scrap these taxpayer-funded positions.

“This woke infestation has gone too far,” he said.

Birmingham City Council - who declared themselves effectively bankrupt by issuing a Section 114 notice in September – has stopped all non-essential spending.

However, the local authority has 18 “woke” positions, including five vacancies.

These roles are paid for by the taxpayer, costing £634,816.


Luton council has nine filled equality diversity and inclusion positions, including five vacancies. The cost of these jobs is £451,399.

Council leader Hazel Simmons said: “We need to do more to tackle inequality and promote diversity and inclusion.”

The council has made over 1,300 of its staff attend unconscious bias courses.

The data was gathered via Freedom of Information requests which were sent to 372 councils.

As many as 247 replied, supplying information about Equality, Diversity and Inclusion roles in their workplace.

Out of the councils that responded, it was revealed that 498 staff are employed in such roles, costing the public £18.1million.

When the figures were modified to include figures from councils that did not respond, the number shot up to 746 roles, costing £28.2million.

The eye-watering figures could come as a shock to many, with many local councils currently struggling with financial troubles.

A council leader has warned that “multiple council bankruptcies are inevitable” without Government support.

Councillor Stephen Holt

Councillor Stephen Holt has warned of many councils facing financial ruin

East Sussex County Council

Last month, Leicester city council announced they were being forced to make “savage” cuts to services, with the Labour-run authority warning it was close to declaring bankruptcy.

The council stated that they need urgent cash from the Government, or else face the likely possibility of financial collapse.

Councillor Stephen Holt, Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, recently hosted a homelessness summit where he warned that as homelessness rises, temporary accommodation fees could threaten many public services.

Holt wrote a letter to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, making urgent requests to overhaul housing policies.

He said: “I hope that Jeremy Hunt will listen to the collective cross-party voice of 119 council leaders and provide the financial support needed to prevent the prolonged suffering of the most vulnerable in society.

“Unless we get an Autumn Statement commitment, multiple council bankruptcies are inevitable and the safety net that so many people rely on will fail.”

In Eastbourne, the council had to find an additional £2.6million in 2022/23 and the figure is predicted to rise to £3.6million in the current financial year.

Councillor Holt concluded: “Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt have the future of frontline public services in their hands and history will judge them very harshly if they don’t acknowledge this crisis and use their considerable powers to address it.”

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