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.
More top news
Hundreds of people will lose their jobs following a collapse in diesel sales across Europe.
A man has been arrested on suspicion of killing the seven-year-old after she disappeared from her Sunderland home in 1992.
Durham Police say four women and one man have been arrested and two people remain up a tree at the Pont Valley opencast demonstration.