Council spends 60k on consultants - in one month

15:21 07 March 2012

THE district council has forked out over £60,000 for consultants in one month.

North Herts District Council has paid for a variety of services in January, ranging from legal to leisure, with taxpayers footing the bill for £60,597 worth of work.

The authority defended its spend claiming due to its size consultants provide the “best value for money for residents”.

Cllr Terry Hone, NHDC’s deputy leader and portfolio holder for finance and IT, said: “It is very easy to think of ‘consultant’ as a word that suggests waste, or money that could have been better spent elsewhere, but this is not an accurate picture.

“External professional advice is sought for a variety of reasons, including the provision of experience and expertise that is not readily available in-house.

“Ultimately, providing value for money services has always been a priority for the council, and our use of consultants is one of the ways we do this for the benefit of people who live and work in North Herts.”

The Royston Labour Party spokesman, Les Baker, said: “The position we have always taken on this is there are cases where there is a need and a use for them.

“But each one needs to be looked at on its needs to see whether the work can be done by an employee of the council.”

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