Huntingdonshire District ­Council says it is closely monitoring staff ­sickness levels after figures revealed they were above the average for other local ­authorities in the region for the second quarter in a row.

According to a report set to go before the employment panel today, between April and June HDC lost an additional day to ­sickness each year per full-time employee when ­compared to other authorities in the East of England.

The figures hit a high between January to March when HDC lost the equivalent of 8.9 days per FTE per year compared to the East of England average of 7.7.

Last quarter's figure had improved slightly at 8.7 days but was up from 8.5 over the same period in 2012.

HDC leader Councillor Jason Ablewhite said: "We're monitoring absences closely. We've had an increase since the outbreak of the Government cuts.

"When you have around 1,100 staff members, which is equivalent to about 600 full-time, you're bound to have one or two long-term absences that skew the figures.

"While the cuts are affecting everyone that's little consolation if you're a member of staff with a family and a mortgage."