A MASS recruitment drive for social workers in Liverpool could pose major harm to neighbouring authorities by purging them of staff, it has been claimed.

The boss of children’s services in Halton warned the city council’s plans to hire more than 100 new council staff  posed a threat to the workforce within the borough during a children and young person’s policy meeting.

Last week, it was announced that Liverpool City Council is set to hire 160 new staff members as part of an ‘unprecedented’ £8m restructuring.

Tracey Coffey, director of children’s services in Halton, expressed fears that staff may jump ship if Liverpool offered better terms and conditions than those in smaller areas outside the city like Runcorn and Widnes.

She said: “The recruitment drive in Liverpool is a new emerging threat that has come very recently.

“I can understand why they have done it. But it’s a huge number to recruit and we don’t know how Liverpool are going to approach that.

“We want to make sure that we anticipate what Liverpool may do, and make sure our workforce know they are valued and have opportunities for development.”