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Howard and Byrne Solicitors, York - Criminal Defence Specialists

EXCLUSIVE: York Council Spends £1 Million on Consultants

York Council 010513

6:00am 1st November 2013

Minster FM can exclusively reveal York Council spent more than a million pounds on consultants in the last financial year.

The total bill for external consultants in 2012/13 came to £1,099,495, with most of the money being spent on transport projects and planning for the city's Community Stadium.

It comes as the city council's Cabinet meets next week to discuss ways to save a further £8.8 million out of it's two year savings programme of £21 million.

Kersten England, Chief Executive of City of York council told Minster FM:

“There are times when it is necessary to utilise external expertise; when we do not have the expertise internally or to ensure that the delivery of our services continue during unexpected short-term peaks in demand. This is always subject to the proper procurement processes and undertaken with value for money in mind.”

You can see where the money went in the table below:

Consultants Paid £10,000 +

  • £142,402 - JMP Consultants Ltd for strategic transport planning
  • £103,000 - Adecco UK Ltd for Leona Marshall
  • £58,455 - ACT Research Ltd for Drug Action Team
  • £53,368 - Ove Arup & Partners for Community Stadium, Local Plan and quality bus contract
  • £49,200 - Centaurus Solutions Ltd for Zafran Khan
  • £48,521 - Drivers Jonas Deloitte professional fees for Community Stadium and Local Plan
  • £46,945 - Diva Creative Ltd for LSTF strategic transport planning
  • £40,500 - Mutual Ventures Ltd for Warden Call business planning and social enterprise
  • £37,500 - Challenge for Change Ltd for sustainable transport business challenge and promotion
  • £34,189 - Red Publications Ltd for various council plan translations, design and shipping
  • £29,860 - Holmes Miller Ltd for Community Stadium
  • £25,409 - FMG Consulting Ltd for Community Stadium
  • £24,376 - Julian Ridge Transport Planning Ltd for Better Bus work - programme management and consultancy
  • £23,363 - SRW Consulting Ltd for Steve Williams (support for Adult Social Care)
  • £20,505 - Department of Communities and Local Government for Community Stadium
  • £17,926 - Halcrow Group Ltd for Access York transport modelling
  • £14,750 - Broadland Group Ltd for asbestos surveys
  • £10,940 - Inclusivity Training & Consultancy for equalities work including Fairness Commission

Consultants Paid Under £10,000

Bootham School

                           9,700

York Education Solutions Ltd

                           9,225

Peter Brett Associates LLP

                           9,200

Rolling Snowballs Ltd

                           9,123

JEK Education Consultancy Ltd

                           9,000

Liz Godman Education Consultancy Ltd

                           9,000

Abritas Ltd

                           8,926

Catalyst

                           7,000

Castlegate IT Limited

                           6,983

Elan Public Transport Consultancy Ltd

                           6,829

Purcell Miller Tritton LLP

                           6,743

The Real David Cameron

                           6,148

Adecco UK Ltd (Danielle Stott)

6,000

Rockin` Horse Promotions

                           6,000

Parashoots

                           5,900

Ocean Media Limited

                           5,578

Aviva Health Uk Limited

                           5,290

Cb Richard Ellis

                           5,281

CoStar UK Ltd

                           5,180

Elizabeth J Plastow

                           5,171

Creative Learning Partnerships

                           5,100

Patricia Davies Associates Ltd

                           5,063

CSV - Volunteering Partners North

                           5,000

Nfer

                           5,000

Big Ideas Collective Ltd

                           4,960

Pinacl Solutions Ltd

                           4,926

University Of York

                           4,868

Leeds Partnerships Nhs Foundation Trust

                           4,865

AECOM Ltd

                           4,850

Taylor York Commercial Limited

                           4,818

Victoria Marshall Educational Consultant

                           4,550

Christine Harrison

                           4,500

Mr Alan Evans

                           4,500

Sanderson Weatherall

                           4,500

Utilities Analysis

                           4,425

Patricia Davies

                           4,388

Childrens Food Trust

                           4,270

Helen Ryan

                           4,000

HomeSwapper

                           3,971

Centrifuge Consulting Ltd

                           3,950

Stephensons

                           3,886

Osiris Educational

                           3,700

Abacus Environmental Assessments Ltd

                           3,602

Serco Ltd

                           3,522

Independent Domestic Abuse Services

                           3,500

Institute for Public Policy Research

                           3,500

York Travellers Trust

                           3,500

G Pearce

                           3,400

Dtz Debenham Tie Leung

                           3,375

Hsbc

                           3,353

Structural & Civil Consultants Ltd

                           3,165

D Tect

                           3,160

Waterhouse Surveyors

                           3,145

Dickinson Dees

                           3,040

Alkemygold Ltd

                           3,002

Active York Partnership

                           3,000

Gardiner & Theobald LLP

                           3,000

UCAS Media Ltd

                           3,000

Ward McHugh Associates Ltd

                           3,000

The Mount School

                           2,836

Playwise Ltd

                           2,800

Yorkshire Energy Partnership

                           2,673

Youth Work Unit Yorkshire & The Humber

                           2,580

Recovery Matters

                           2,550

Leeds City Council

                           2,500

Leeds Metropolitan University

                           2,500

SIMUL

                           2,500

 

Meanwhile, North Yorkshire County Council can't tell us how much it spends on consultants.

When Minster FM put in a Freedom of Information request it was revealed the authority does not have a centralised list of consultants.

In a reply, the council said:

"The County Council’s accounting and expenditure recording systems and structure does not permit a full analysis of spending on consultants to be obtained as many of these type of services and resulting costs will be charged for example, to particular project headings. We also do not hold a consultants register to be able to identify this information.

We used to subscribe to an expenditure analysis that permitted spend to be classified against suppliers using standard trade classifications for the main business of that supplier but the last information from this service was nearly three years ago. We have recently started to use a new broadly equivalent service but this is still in development and needs a lot of time cleansing before we can have confidence in it. We have run a report that purported to show expenditure on consultants over a recent period, but the results are clearly suspect.

To obtain the information you ask for would therefore involve asking every service area and budget manager within the County Council to manually identify the consultants that they employ together with the elements of cost that you ask for. Due to the size of the Authority this would clearly take over 18 hours.

Thus the large amount of work involved would bring the cost of answering your request over the amount to which we are legally required to respond, ie the cost of locating and retrieving the information exceeds the ‘appropriate limit’ as stated in the Freedom of Information (Fees and Appropriate Limit) Regulations 2004."

East Riding of Yorkshire Council, which serves Pocklington, Market Weighton and Stamford Bridge, spent a total of £47,995 on external consultants, this was broken down as follows (with council's comments):

£13,000 - Peter Ralley / RALi Studios

"This is an externally funded project so the value of the contract covering stages 1 and 2 (which have now concluded) was fixed with no additional expenses beyond the value of the contract to be paid."

£12,500 - Film Bee Collective

"This is an externally funded project so the value of the contract covering stage 3 (which is underway) has fixed with no additional expenses beyond the value of the contract to be paid."

£7,500 - Paul Vinsen Hotel, Leisure, Tourism Consultant

"This is a short term fixed price contract awarded through a tendering process.

£6,495 - Local Transport Projects

"This is a fixed price contract and includes all expenses."

£5,000 - Culture Partners

"The total fee is inclusive of expenses."

£3,500 - ARUP

"This is an externally funded project so the value of the contract is fixed with no additional expenses beyond the value of the contract to be paid."

TBC - Valuation Agency Office

"Remuneration is under terms of a framework agreement with the cost of individual instructions determined by reference to a scale of agreed charges."

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