Lib Dems shocked by £1.4 million bill for consultants

December 2, 2010 5:05 PM

money going down a drainNorwich City Council has spent an eye-watering £1.4 million on consultants over the last 18 months. In the 2009/10 financial year, a total of £999,000 was spent on consultants, and in the first six months of the current financial year, a total of £393,000 was spent.

"I am shocked that this Labour administration has spent nearly £1.4 million of taxpayers money on consultants over the last 18 months. The council employs numerous well-paid specialised officers, but we are still spending vast sums on getting outside help. At a time when the Council is having to make cuts and closing things like the Cashiers' Service at City Hall, these figures seem extraordinary" said Cllr Judith Lubbock, who asked the Labour Executive for the figure at tonight's council meeting.

The highest spending (£283,000) was on consultants to give advice on the letting of the housing maintenance contract to Connaught, a company that collapsed just months later leaving the Council in crisis. £186,000 was spent on consultants exploring transformation and efficiency options, despite the council having a specialised 'Transformation and Efficiency' team in place.

"It is muddled thinking from Labour. We had a well-paid transformation team, but were paying consultants to do the job as well. We have numerous 'Community Engagement' officers, but were paying consultants to run public consultations. The only plus is that by asking this question the public can now see how the Council is spending their money and I hope that public pressure will force the Council to significantly reduce this spending." added Cllr Lubbock.