The confusion arises from the term 'devolved government' as this is controlled by how funding is issued centrally.
There are quite a number of LA employees that are funded by monies devolved from Govt funds, a perfect example is the Harnessing Technology grant that many LAs top-slice or retain. This is Central funding that is devolved and if your salary is paid by this (even if you are in the employ of the LA) then you can be regarded as employed by devolved government funding and subsequently be a civil servant.
It is a very grey area as the Civil Service may or may not include the figures of these employees depending on the circumstances. Sir Humphrey is spot on when he calls local Govt staff external workers when talking to Jim Hacker about the size of the Civil Service, but when senior Civil Servant are justifying their position (and subsequent salaries) then it can often be based on their responsibilities and the number of people they ultimately manage.
Likewise, it is common practice by LA staff to consider themselves civil servants when it suits them and to deny all association at other times. Those that are employed by Local Govt but like to deemed 'external' (including schools, libraries, museums, children's homes, etc) tend to rarely include themselves in the list of civil servants, but many that are stuck behind desks in County and Town Halls are more likely to included themselves in the list.
So ... you are both right and both wrong. C'est la vie!
Yes Minister is still very true in certain aspects, but there are significant differences now. The external contracts that are here, there and everywhere has seen to that. Considering that we now have less state owned R&D centres, military groups, maintenance groups, etc ... and we now have more state employed staff (included Local Govt and Govt owned / part owned assetts) than we have had for years ... yes, the Civil Services is still growing folks!
Yes Minister / Prime minister was a great series with some brilliant scripts - just a shame that daft old cow Thatcher decided to compose a Sketch for it !!!
Steven Gerrard was in the new years honours - he got a GBH.
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