MILLIONS of pounds is being spent by the council on hiring consultants and paying their expenses claims.
The Chronicle submitted a Freedom of Information request to Cheshire West and Chester Council after Labour recently alleged one consultant was due to earn £1,100 per day.
The council was initially unwilling to fully answer the question about how much it was spending on consultants but will shortly provide full details after it lost an internal review.
So far it has revealed more than £6m was spent with consultants between April and December 2010 and has given expenditure figures for a few of the main contracts.
This includes £2.2m spent with Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PWC) on work which included a computer upgrade to introduce improved controls on spend and better compliance to good contracts.
The council says the system will drive savings and improve the efficiency of back-office operations.
Other consultants included Turner and Townsend who were paid £570,000 to give ‘construction and build’ advice, SKM Enviros who gave support on waste collection for £232,000, Cheshire Consultancy Services Ltd who charged £231,000 on construction consultancy for schools and Public Sector Consultants who supplied internal audit advice for £154,000.
And the council has revealed that in 2010 consultants working for PWC claimed a total of £292,471 for overnight accommodation, travel and meals although this will be an overestimate because some of the costs are shared with Cheshire East Council.
CWAC estimates its element of the PWC’s expenses bill may be £196,471.