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Council defends £1million consultants’ fees

Created on 31/08/2016 @ 09:55
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Powys County Council has defended £1million in consultants’ fees that it says will help deliver savings of £83.2million by the end of the decade.

The council has paid nearly £1m in advice and support to change service provision to help ensure delivery of its savings programme.

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor Wynne Jones said: “It is clear that if the cabinet was to stand any chance of achieving the challenging savings target in response to national public spending cuts it would have to invest in the expertise needed to support the change programme.

“Change of the scale demanded needs specialist support, expertise that the council does not have on a daily basis. We have invested in external consultants to make sure we had specialist knowledge available to guide us through the process, to go it alone without adequate support would be a recipe for disaster.

“During 2015/16 we invested £950,000 in consultants to deliver service change and this is 0.2% of our gross expenditure and that spend – which is very closely monitored by the cabinet - has already proved a fruitful investment.

“The council spent £84k on consultants to take forward the externalisation of leisure centres, which led to the contract being awarded to Freedom Leisure and all centres kept open and delivered over £400k of savings. It will eventually result in no public subsidy needed for this service.”

He added: “We also invested £50k in expert support to undertake a very large and complex piece of work around the funding of our capital programme, which will lead to an extra £12m revenue for the period 2015-2019 and a £35k investment to review children’s services has identified achievable savings of £2.2m.

“Other notable figures paid by the council include £34k for work in the Housing Service, £67k for Highways design work - this includes flood defence schemes, £101k for the schools transformation agenda and £156k for a review of the Adult Social Care Service.

“Investment in ASC service was needed to help identify savings of 10 per cent over three years at a time of increasing demand due to the rising number of older people. Achieving savings while absorbing growth is particularly challenging,” he added.


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