Haringey Borough Council attacked for consultants and agency staff bill

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Haringey’s Labour administration has been attacked for spending more than £65million on consultants and agency staff in the past three years.

Opposition Liberal Democrat councillors say Haringey Borough Council needs to cut its spending on outside help to save the authority money.

Over the past year the council has spent a combined total of more than £16.5million on consultants and agency staff.

However, figures from the Lib Dem group shows spending on agency staff for 2013/2014 dropped by nearly £10million compared to the year before.

Leader of the Lib Dem group Richard Wilson said: “This massive bill for agency staff and consultants needs to be cut.

“Just think how many luncheon clubs for the elderly could have been saved, how many roads could have been fixed if the council cut the enormous agency and consultants bill.

“But rather than reducing spending on consultants, the Labour-run council is employing more and more consultants.

“Residents want to see their hard-earned taxes spent on the services they use, not on expensive outside consultants to write reports and draw up strategies.

“People in Haringey pay the fifth highest council tax in London. Labour should be taking care to spend taxpayers’ money wisely. They should not be spending so many millions on expensive agency staff and consultants.”

The attack before a full council meeting, on Wednesday February 26, to debate the authority’s budget for the year ahead.

A spokesperson for Haringey council said: “Like any large organisation, the council sometimes uses agency staff to cover vital social work and care worker posts.

“Our agency spending is in line with other London boroughs, and we are continuing to work to reduce it even further.

“As part of our ongoing commitment to improve Haringey and the lives of our residents, we also sometimes use specialist staff and expert consultants to support our ambition to transform council services in the best interests of local people.

“Despite government cuts to our funding causing unprecedented change, we have managed to significantly reduce our spending on agency staff by in the last year and they now represent just ten per cent of our workforce.”

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