MORE than 1,400 people left Newport council for reasons other than redundancy or retirement over the last 20 months.

But Newport says that the numbers leaving the council voluntarily have actually dropped over the last six years, and that the figures have been relatively consistent.

Some 107 council workers took voluntary redundancy between May 2012 and January 2014, according to figures obtained by Tory opposition councillor David Fouweather.

But they also show that 1,460 people left the organisation over the same period for reasons other than redundancy and retirement.

The largest proportion of such leavers were in schools, where 640 people left the service, while 331 people left the continuing learning and leisure department.

Adult social services saw 78 people leave for reasons other than redundancy and retirement, while children’s services saw 81 people similarly leave.

A total of 39 people left adult services because they took voluntary redundancy – bringing the total number of leavers in that department to 130.

The figures also showed that, as of January, the authority had 100 vacancies – with 26 in continuing learning and leisure and 17 in children and family services.

Cllr Fouweather said he had calculated that 87 members of staff a month had left the authority a month during that period.

He said: “I think the council is losing valuable experience and with budgets tight, in difficult times, we need experienced people in these key positions to run our council.”

A spokesman for Newport City Council said turnover at the council has been “relatively consistent since 2008” and that a third of people leave because of the ending of casual, fixed term or seasonal contracts.

“The numbers choosing to leave the council have dropped over the last six years (an average percentage of 48 per cent) with the highest number leaving in 2010/11,” she said.

“Other people have left because of ill health, mutual terminations and transfers to other organisations.”