Why is Eastbourne council spending £650,000 a year on consultants?

The amount of money being spent by the local authority on outside consultants is dropping according to figures obtained by the Gazette under the Freedom of Information Act.

An investigation by the Gazette’s sister paper, the Herald, revealed on Friday that management at the NHS trust which runs the DGH had spent £1.3million on outside advice in the last six months alone – as well as £4.1million in the 12 months between December 2010 and November 2011.

And today we lift the lid on how much Eastbourne Borough Council is forking out for similar help.

During the last financial year the town hall has spent £653,259 – a figure well down on the sort of spending seen in recent years.

A spokesman for the council explained, “Since 2009, when a new senior management team was appointed at Eastbourne Borough Council, expenditure on consultants has been significantly reduced from £1.51m in 2008/09 to less than half a million in 2010/11.

“This drop of around 70 per cent overall continues a trend of reduced spending on consultants in line with a review in 2009.

“The council will continue to engage consultants on large scale capital projects or for specialist training and IT when there is a clear justification based on value for money and the improved delivery and efficiency of council services. “However, a rigorous examination is always carried out to ensure the use of consultants is appropriate on any project and is in line with market rates.”