Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Councils and Consultants

I rarely read our local paper, it's the Lancaster Guardian and is about as shite as the proper Guardian, but I just happened to peep at a copy this morning and I was shocked.

My local council, Lancaster City Council, spent over £1m last year on consultants. Over £1m! That is an absolutely scandalous waste of taxpayers' money. A proportion of that went on consultants paid for legal advice, despite having their own Legal Services Department.

I won't bore you with all the detail, but it is on the Lancaster Guardian website if you would like to see the article.

I recently came across a media consultancy that charges a reported £1,500 a day plus VAT to tell councillors and council officials how to work with the media. That despite most of the councils they work with actually employing media/PR people already.

I do not accept that any reasonably sized local authority in this day and age needs to employ ridiculously expensive consultants, they must have all the expertise they could need on their payroll already. If they don't they are doing something wrong.

Consultants are the obvious place to start cutting and millions and millions of pounds could be saved in local government at a stroke, without affecting essential services.

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