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Heir loss


The loss of senior engineers at the head of local authority environment directorates and the domino effect of a recruitment crisis comes as no surprise to me (NCE last week).

I worked for one of Essex County Council's (ECC) agency boroughs several years ago and loved every minute. The trouble was the lack of prospects and money and so I left for the private sector.

I attended an open day at ECC a couple of years ago to see what opportunities were available to a more experienced and qualified engineer. There was plenty of interesting engineering work, but I was told that the money I was after was out of the question.

This is the root of the crisis at local authorities. They have systematically shrunk their engineering base in favour of pursuing vote winning causes.

The result is years without fresh blood and pay being outstripped by the private sector.

Until the problems of pay, professional development and importance of local authority engineers is grasped by the politicians and the chiefs at the authorities, then the situation will get worse.

Mark Philpotts (M), mark.

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