Council’s £1m external consultants fee

editorial image

WIGAN Council has spent more than £1m on external consultants in the past two years.

Figures released using Freedom of Information laws have revealed that council chiefs have authorised the payment of £1,018,354 in outside consultancy fees between April 2010 and March 2012.

Despite being forced to make savings of £80m over the next four years, the council say that the consultancy fees have been value for money in helping the council cope with such cuts to public spending.

Of the £1m spend, there were payments to the multinational firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers for a “group structure review and pension schedule” (£25,865) in 2011/12 and a “strategic review of organisation” (£38,000) in 2010/11.

There were also payments totalling £283,244 in relation to a “waste project” in 2011/12 which the council say will secure the future contracts for waste service management for the next 25 years.

Donna Hall, Chief Executive, Wigan Council, said: “The council has an annual gross expenditure of more than £820m and we provide services for one of the largest metropolitan boroughs in the country.

“By April 2013 we will have saved around £48m of our target savings of £80m over the next four years and this will continue to be our focus.

“We have protected public facing services and those most vulnerable by reducing back office and management costs.”