Although I don't know all of the staff who have left, the ones of whom I have had personal knowledge and experience will be enormous losses to the day-to-day operation of the department.
My understanding is that the prime reason for the upheaval is the restructuring of the department - or more precisely, the long dragged-out dismemberment of the department and the transfer of responsibilities to the Health Board, the Education Department and the Sustainable Communities(!) section.
The staff see no direction from the top, and I don't mean the Director, or respect for what they are delivering. The uncertainty caused by the interminable delays, allied to the probable outcomes of the restructuring have driven these skills off the island.
In an unexpected turn, I understand that one of the very senior members of staff (I'm not going to identify the individual) has a new job in Glasgow, but in a reversal of the norms is commuting from Lewis every week!
On an associated topic, the impact of single status seems to have been to drive large numbers of qualified staff out of the Council, and I understand that Technical Services is facing such a huge skilled staff shortage that it is having to re-employ the same staff as 'consultants' and pay them substantially more or be unable to deliver the necessary work.
This is a prime example of the business acumen of Government - central and local.