The recruitment and retention of staff has led to a budget overspend at Stratford District Council.

At January's policy and services meeting, chief executive Sven Hanne told councillors a competitive job market has meant personnel costs have exceeded budget.

"There are a handful of roles that councils cannot find staff for as there are not enough people available in the market."

This meant Council had had to increase salaries to recruit and retain qualified staff at times, he said.

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Deputy mayor Alan Jamieson asked if there was a way to retain staff.

"We had to meet the market, or risk losing them," Sven said.

The council uses a benchmark set by a national agency which reviews the salaries every year, said Sven.

Corporate services officer Tiffany Radich said the personnel costs are over budget by $263,250 for the financial year.

"There has been a notable increase in both positions and salaries which has been required to hire and retain critical staff."

The increased spend has been offset in part in other ways, said Sven.

"The overspend in the salary budget is largely offset by not incurring external costs through some services being brought in-house, as well as recovering costs from neighbouring councils where we have supported them through staff shortages."