Councillors at West Dorset District Council responded to the retiring leader Robert Gould's statement that staff were leaving the authority because of an upturn in the private sector rather than as a response to the changes taking place at the authority.
Mr John Grantham, a member of the public, had asked a question about why staff were leaving and how many had taken voluntary redundancies as part of the merger with Weymouth and Portland, which the Councils say has saved 6 million pounds.
In 2012-13 41 staff left, 7.4 percent of the total representing 33 voluntary retirements and 8 redundancies. In 2013 - 14 the figures were 3.5 percent, 25 retirements and 8 redundancies.
But Liberal Democrats question the rationale offered by the council leader. "We know that this has been a period of extreme stress for staff, with many having received changes to their pay grades and in their wages, and we are concerned that the forthcoming merger with North Dorset will heighten the pressure", said Cllr Stella Jones, Lib Dem Group Leader.
Cllr Ros Kayes, our parliamentary candidate, said: "Staff in an organisation are the oil which makes the machine run smoothly. When staff are worried, experiencing stress or increased workload, their health suffers , as does that of the organisation. It is not an accident that many staff are leaving and opting for a role in the private sector.
Morale is not good and it is our duty to look after the wellbeing of our employees. We have called again and again for proper support for staff in what will be yet another series of service reviews ( what will be the third in six years). However we would still like to see concrete proposals for supporting staff through these changes from the new chief executive, and, despite repeated requests we have had no such commitment."