Council pays £1.5m in consultancy charges

NEARLY £1.5million was spent on consultancy fees by North Somerset Council in the last financial year. Council officers have insisted

NEARLY £1.5million was spent on consultancy fees by North Somerset Council in the last financial year.Council officers have insisted last year's splurge on consultants' services was in most cases necessary and helped the authority deliver the best service possible.But the Conservative administration at Weston Town Hall has said it is reviewing how much cash is spent on consultants.The Tories said after they were elected into power in May that consultancy was one area they had pinpointed for possible cuts so more money could be ploughed into frontline services.Officers believe last year's spending was vital in getting grants such as the £5million in Civic Pride cash. Specialist work, such as bringing in engineering experts for Weston's sea defence scheme, also required consultants.Officers say they were also a cheaper option for short-term work, such as covering maternity leave, than employing more full-time staff.The figures were revealed in a Freedom of Information request.


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