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Saturday, 20 September 2014

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Why Copeland spent £2.5m on consultants

MORE than £2.5 million has been spent on consultants by Copeland Borough Council over the last five years.

Figures obtained through the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act reveal that payments were made to 22 different firms since 2007, totalling £2.57 million.

The bulk of the payments were made to recruitment agencies which, the council says, were necessary to help it fill vacancies to keep vital services running.

It adds that other payments have been made to firms offering financial support to internal council operations, and others helping to deliver projects in the borough.

The single largest recipient of council money was Bob Collins Managment Ltd – £399,434 since 2008 – who worked as a consultant on a number of projects, including the Pow Beck sports scheme.

The FoI request reveals that a total of £4.88 million was paid to consultants over the five-year period (not including the final quarter of 2012). However, almost half of this was reimbursed to Copeland by the government as it formed part of the Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) partnership.

Paul Walker, Copeland Borough Council’s chief executive, said: “There will always be times where we need either additional capacity to ensure we can operate our services safely and effectively, or need additional specialist skills or experience to deliver a project.

“In these instances, we use temporary agency or consultancy staff.

“Around half of the costs outlined are wholly paid for by the government as part of the MRWS process. In addition, we are constantly reviewing the position in accordance with the needs of the organisation.

“Taking MRWS aside (which is fully funded by the government) the costs to Copeland are at the lowest level for a number of years and will continue to reduce.”

Have your say

Right. I'm off to get trained up as a consultant then I'll be ready to relieve the council of some of their cash. Should be able to recover my council tax easily in one or two "consultations".

Posted by J Puddleduck on 24 January 2013 at 12:29

There would appear to be alack of academic ability within the council?

Posted by retiredgreyhound on 21 January 2013 at 18:17

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