OXFORDSHIRE County Council has lost more than a third of its workforce since 2010.

Official figures show it has nearly 2,000 fewer staff than it had seven years ago, while it also paid more than £2m on temporary staff in just three months this year.

The Labour Party’s group leader on the council, Liz Brighouse, said: “Until this madness of austerity ends we won’t get what we need to deliver local services. We will be in this position.”

It has had to chop £300m from its spending from 2010 until 2018 to deal with central government cuts.

Mrs Brighouse added: “We have got a high case load in children’s social care and in roadworks because there just aren’t enough people to do the necessary work.”

The authority said recent spend on agency workers has decreased and that some jobs were now shared with other councils.

She added: “We are losing all these people at the coalface and these people in children’s social care, which is a massive problem.

“There is a real crisis of getting people in the jobs and county councils have faced massive cuts.”

The council now wants to review the number of its agency workers and work to appoint a single agency to ‘control spend’.

It admitted its spend on agency staff remained ‘significant’ – but shelled out £2.357m in the first three months of 2018 compared to £2.022m in April, May and June. That is a reduction of 14 per cent.

Oxfordshire County Council employed a total of 4,055 people in June, a reduction of 36.3 per cent since March 2010. This year's total included 2,463 full-time workers and 1,592 part-time staff. It excludes people working in schools.

Agency staff are often used in key services to ensure they continue in instances of maternity leave, illness and for short gaps in recruitment where a permanent replacement is not due to arrive until a member of staff has left.

Oxfordshire County Council spokesman Paul Smith said: “In common with all county and metropolitan councils in England Oxfordshire County Council has experienced large reductions in budgets since 2010. All such councils have seen drops in staffing levels.

“However in some cases the reductions are due to very specific reasons. For instance the formerly county council-run adult learning service is now provided by a local college. The council has also partnered with Hampshire County Council to deliver back office human resources and finance services. It has also moved to commissioning some services in adult social care.

“These initiatives have resulted in fewer directly employed staff."