Northamptonshire council criticised for appointment of temporary consultant costing £1,000 a day

"Why are we paying ludicrous amounts of money when we have officers in house already who could do the job?"

Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 6:47 pm
West Northamptonshire Council has hired a temporary officer.
West Northamptonshire Council has hired a temporary officer.

A consultant has been hired on a temporary six- month basis by West Northamptonshire Council on a fee of £1,000 per day working, four days a week.

Working in support of the council's monitoring officer, the consultant started in the role earlier this month (June).

The council has stated it is a temporary appointment to allow it to have the necessary legal resource in place while a permanent structure is developed and consulted upon.

The role of director of legal and democratic services is known more commonly as the monitoring officer.

The appointment has been criticised by the leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the council.

Councillor Sally Beardsworth said: "She (the monitoring officer) should have got help from someone who would cost less. This is taxpayers' money.

"Why are we paying ludicrous amounts of money when we have officers in house already who could do the job?"

A spokesman for West Northamptonshire Council said: "West Northamptonshire Council is a new unitary council which has replaced four different councils in Northamptonshire.

"The new council, has, over the last few months, been reviewing and creating a new, single, senior management structure from the four that previously existed.

"We are also identifying where we have immediate resource gaps and, as a result, a temporary appointment has been made to support the statutory role of monitoring officer (a deputy monitoring officer is a requirement).

"This is an interim appointment to enable the new council to have the necessary legal resource in place while a permanent structure is developed and consulted upon.

"We are pleased to have been able to secure a highly experienced monitoring officer for this temporary appointment who has worked as monitoring officer in a number of councils.

"It should be noted that interim rates of pay represent the total costs of employment including sickness and holiday pay and does not reflect the amount individuals receive after relevant deductions."