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Posted by: John Brace | 24th September 2014

Wirral Council pay £172,910 + VAT + expenses to consultants to help find £2.5 million of savings (Future Council)

Wirral Council pay £172,910 + VAT + expenses to consultants to help find £2.5 million of savings (Future Council)

                                   

Future Council Wirral logo

Future Council Wirral logo

Information revealed by Wirral Council in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by Councillor Paul Hayes has stated that fifty-three of its staff are working on the “Future Council” project, which is the current consultation (closing on the 31st October 2014) to find £2.5 million of savings. The “Future Council” consultation launch was reported on by this blog earlier this month.

All fifty-three staff were asked to sign “confidentiality statements” and “conflict of interest” forms to do with their “Future Council” work. Councillors on Wirral Council’s three scrutiny committees have recently agreed to behind closed doors meetings to discuss the budget options during the consultation period.

However Wirral Council also revealed that the “Future Council” project is also supported by a team of four consultants from EY (previously called Ernst and Young) at a cost of £172,910 + VAT + expenses. This comes on top of a recent scandal about another set of consultants that Wirral Council hired called V4 being paid more than was authorised by politicians (as revealed by the Liverpool Echo in the last few days).

Certainly Wirral Council paying outside consultants £172,910 + VAT + expenses will not go down well with either the trade unions or staff facing the prospect of being made redundant.

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Responses

  1. This would NOT be a good time to remind council tax payers that Wirral Council forced 834 redundant workers to sign “compromise agreements” with gagging clauses (confidentiality clauses) late last year.

    It would also be insensitive to reveal the costs to us – a cool £62,550.

    To muzzle every employee from senior manager right down to lollipop lady is the result of collective, crazed, corporate paranoia that’s run out of control. They need to put a brake on this madness now…

    But no… instead, they’re chasing down every harmless cul-de-sac, armed with a mallet, flailing wildly at phantom threats that never even existed.

    The circling jackals (Burgess and Tour’s solicitor chumz) are highly pleased at the easy, ready cash………. but it’s costing us a F O R T U N E.

    • Once I’m finished with publishing councillor’s expenses claim forms (I have two councillors to go Cllr Tony Smith and Cllr Pat Williams), I have a years worth of legal invoices (FY 2013-2014) to Wirral Council from solicitors and barristers (heavily redacted of course). I’ll probably have to fill in some of the black boxes for it to make sense.

      When I get round to publishing those, you’ll see what a small fortune Wirral Council seems to spend on legal expenses after getting things wrong.

      I also have general Wirral Council invoices too ranging from tractors to showers.

    • Oh it’s slightly off topic for this thread (although the Liverpool Echo story about consultants got mentioned as it’s related to V4 consultancy about the leisure centres), but I thought you might be interested in the call in meeting yesterday evening about Wirral Council reducing the concessions at Wirral’s leisure centres to former members of the Armed Forces.

      I think there’s a story in the Wirral Globe today about it too.

  2. More fine work, John. This is beyond belief. They literally learn NOTHING.

    • Well what’s so amazing about this is that they are supposed to be consulting the public on what they want.

      Once the consultation is over and the decisions are made by politicians, surely senior managers get paid for doing what they’re outsourcing to EY (Ernst and Young)? Is there a lack of capacity in senior managements or do they trust outside consultants rather than their own staff to stick to confidentiality agreements? Who signed off on this expenditure and I thought not so many years ago the current Leader said they were cutting back on how much they spent on consultants in order to safeguard jobs?

      • Precisely.

        They have quite literally no regard at all for the taxpayer. They strut around like they own the business with the taxpayer a minority shareholder.

        An FOI to ask which parliamentary constituencies our heads of service and above live in would be illuminating, too. We don’t want exact addresses so there is no Data Protection issue, either. It’s a legitimate, public interest question: Do the officers who sign off these huge, apparently unchecked sums of our money live in the borough their decisions will affect?

  3. G’day John

    You and “Highbrow” should be courted and feted as Wirral Heroes.

    How you can even sit in the same room as these scum bags on a daily basis is beyond me.

    Phil The Dill, The Pretend Friend, The Shyster, The Football Shirt, The Chamber Potty and The Dunny Chain Wearer just want to make me vomit.

    They just act like despicable low lives…….for what????

    Ooroo

    James


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