By Claire West

Responding to reports that three million people are employed by councils after an explosion of 'non-jobs’, John Ransford, Chief Executive of the Local Government Assocaition, said:

"These distorted figures fail to acknowledge that the three million employed in local government includes teachers, police forces, and all of their civilian staff. The actual number employed by town halls is less than half that, at 1.4 million.

"Councils are responsible for providing 800 different services, and many of the posts being denigrated as 'non-jobs' reflect a lack of understanding about the complex nature of the vital work local authorities do. It is also a slap in the face for hard working staff, many of whom are facing the threat of redundancy.

"This slapdash analysis fails to acknowledge the huge savings that these members of staff bring to the work of their councils, ensuring that hardworking people get value for the taxes they pay.

"To suggest that an assistant director of adult services - responsible for overseeing the care of thousands of elderly and vulnerable people - is a 'non-job’ absolutely beggars belief.

"Far from being a bloated bureaucracy, the local government workforce is composed of a very large group of mostly part-time female workers earning below £18,000 per year, and a diverse group of specialists and professionals throughout the rest of the structure."