A leaked memo has revealed that a council, which is planning budget cuts, is paying some of its external consultants more than 4000 pounds a week.
Northumberland County Council has paid more than half a million pounds to consultants over the last financial year.
The council says that bringing in expertise for short periods is cost-effective, but County Councillor Steven Bridgett says that the figure is too much.
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Money raised for a Down Syndrome charity by the mother of a little girl with the condition has been stolen in a suspected burglary.
Operation ARIES aims to cut underage drinking and the latest initiative is to clamp down on adults buying alcohol for under 18s.
Dottie, 3, has cerebral palsy and needs crutches to walk. The lights switch-on is part of a fundraising drive to help fund her surgery.