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Surrey County Council’s consultancy bill rockets by more than 40%

November 28, 2016 3:23 PM
Originally published by Surrey County Council Lib Dems

Liberal Democrat county councillors have expressed their concern after it was revealed that Surrey County Council's spending on consultants has increased by over 40% from the previous year.

Following a question tabled by Cllr Hazel Watson, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, at the Cabinet meeting on 22nd November, it was revealed that spending on consultants has risen from £305,000 in 2015/16 to £431,000 so far in 2016/17, with the bill set to rise further before the end of the financial year. Day rates ranged from £350 to a shocking £1800 per day - meaning that some consultants working for the Tory administration were earning the equivalent of £468,000 a year. The council also admitted that it cannot supply figures for spending on consultants before 2015 and did not release information as to whom the county council had paid to do the work.

Cllr Watson said,

"At a time when the Tories are pleading poverty, the council's consultancy bill should not be going up and certainly not by over 40%. The Conservative administration cannot look Surrey residents in the eye and ask them to pay more and more council tax to protect vital services if they haven't got their own house in order first.

"This use of consultants needs to be brought under control and scrutinised to assess whether this expenditure is really necessary. Liberal Democrats county councillors are calling for the council to dramatically reduce its spending in this area and instead focus on providing value for money for residents whilst reducing unnecessary costs".

Notes to Editors

Cllr Hazel Watson outside County Hall

Cllr Hazel Watson

A copy of Cllr Watson's question and the answer received can be found here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/146827888@N06/31261116236/in/dateposted-public/