Council's 4k-a-week consultant

Northumberland County Council has been criticised by opposition member for paying hundreds of thousands of pounds in consultancy fees despite facing budget cuts and job losses.

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Latest statement from Northumberland County Council

Northumberland County Council have released a statement following a memo was leaked that revealed that the council, which is planning budget cuts, is paying some of its external consultants more than 4000 pounds a week.

“We don’t comment on individual members of staff or the details of salaries or terms and conditions.

“All councils across the country use external expertise at times to provide particular skills, knowledge and experience.

“Short term arrangements such as these provide fixed costs for delivering significant projects – and a contractor is responsible for their own pension, sick pay, national insurance and other additional costs."

– Statement from Northumberland County Council

It has also been revealed that Northumberland County Council has paid more than half a million pounds to consultants over the last financial year.

“Over the past three years the council has made savings of over £100million, including a reduction in the number of senior managers, and this has all helped us to maintain frontline services to residents.

"Broadband is something that everyone has told us is important – including MPs, business leaders and residents – and it was vital to introduce some dedicated resources to help move this project forward as quickly as possible.”

– Statement from Northumberland County Council

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