City of Edinburgh Council spends £23,000 every day on expert consultants

copyright credit to Martyn Gorman.jpg

Photo credit to Martyn Gorman

Edinburgh council paid £5.6 million to consultants for the running of council services, as well as paying almost £2.8 million to experts for capital projects.

This included the project management and design of new school buildings and the Meadowbank Sports Centre.

The tram extension also received £1.5 million before the plans were given the green light by councillors.

A bonus of almost £2 million was paid to one company for helping the authority achieve savings.

The amount spent on expert consultants dropped from £9.7 million in 2016/17, but opponents have argued against the multi-million-pound price tag on outsourcing jobs.

Green Councillor Gavin Corbett said some of the reasons behind the £8.4 million spending were unclear.

He said: “The amount spent on consultancy is down a bit, which is good news.

“However, at well over £8 million, it is still a hefty budget and every single penny needs to be justified.”

He added: “A large and complex organisation like the council certainly needs outside expertise from time to time, but there is still a way to go in getting it to the right level.”

Conservatives have criticised the spending made by the SNP-Labour administration on the tram extension.

Conservative Councillor Andrew Johnston said; “While I welcome the slight reduction from the previous year, that £5 million of revenue is an awful lot when we are facing another difficult budgeting process for next year”

“It’s completely unreasonable for the council to be taking forward the next stage of the tram extension before the results of the Hardie inquiry are known. It does not make sense to be spending on it before we have a clearer picture.”

SNP Councillor Alasdair Rankin said that the council monitors the consultancy fees “to ensure we get the best value for Edinburgh’s tax payers”.

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