Posted: Fri 1st Dec 2023

Caerphilly Council Spends £2 Million on Consultant Fees in 2 Years, Leader Confirms /
This article is old - Published: Friday, Dec 1st, 2023

Caerphilly Council has spent around £2 million on consultant fees in the past two years, its leader has confirmed.
Consultants have been hired for a “myriad” of issues including drainage, engineering and road safety, Cllr Sean Morgan said.
An independent councillor has sought assurances the spending is “cost effective and value for money”.
Cllr Morgan said the “short-term” hiring of consultants for “essential” projects had helped the council save money and avoid making redundancies.
The council spent nearly £1.5m on consultants last year and has so far this year spent around £570,000.
Caerphilly County Borough Council is facing a reported real-terms budget cut of around £50m over the next two years, owing to inflation and reduced local government settlements.
Kevin Etheridge, a councillor from Blackwood, asked the leader at a full council meeting, on Wednesday November 29, whether the local authority would be pursuing “salami slicing” – meaning the cutting back of budgets – and “enforced redundancies”.
He warned such moves were “not the way forward”.
Cllr Morgan said “salami slicing” of budgets was “no longer possible” because it would cause services to “go into a downward spin”.
The council would save money, and avoid redundancies, by making “better use of buildings” and using new technology to “drive efficiencies”, he added.
The council leader acknowledged that negotiating future budget constraints was a “complex area” but said consultants had played their part in helping the local authority find ways to save around £15m annually.
Cllr Morgan said he “absolutely” believed using consultants for this work was “cost effective and value for money” at a time “when our budgets are under more pressure than we could ever have imagined”. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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