Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The true cost of consultants and redundancy

In an often ill tempered council meeting Tory leaders at North West Leicestershire District Council have revealed tonight how much taxpayers money they have been spending in recent years on consultants whilst at the same time clarifying the cost of getting rid of redundant posts.

Following questions from Labour Councillors Ray Woodward and Lesley Massey figures revealed for the first time this evening show that in 2009/10 our Conservative administration spent over half a million pounds on consultants (£514K).

In the two years following £442,042.45 (2010/11) and £80,929.45 (2011/12) has been shelled out.

In total in just two and half years over 1 million pounds has been paid out on consultants by Conservatives at London Road.

In his formal response Councillor Nick Rushton said 'The Council buys in advice and consultancy each year as and when required. Whilst we have a knowledgeable and experienced team of officer we could not justify having permanent staff whose skills might only be required occassionally.'

Of course, Cllr Rushton is correct however his views do appear a little anomalous when you consider the second piece of information revealed tonight.

In that exact same period our District Council have spent more than £700K on the cost of making people redundant (2009/10 - £113,195, 2010/11 - £400,243, 2011/12 - £194,887).

Can anyone really say none of the consultancy costs could have been cancelled out by utilising existing staff and thus negating the need for all of those redundancies?

I seriously doubt it.

We are constantly told that the Conservatives are the party of fiscal responsibility but all of this spending has happened on their watch and a long time after Labour were in power at North West Leicestershire.

To spend £1.7 million of council taxpayers money in two and half years on costs, which in many cases may have cancelled each other out, smacks of mismanagement.

The Conservatives are directly responsible for these astronomical figures. Every one of the Tory leadership should be questioning their financial management credentials in the wake of these revelations.

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