A letter from consultants KPMG to Salford Council giving a full breakdown of its costs up to a total of almost £1.5million has been seen by Salford Star.
The letter was sent in 2008 and provides a full breakdown of KPMG's fees for making efficiencies at the Council - which included £1,900 a day for a Director/Partner; £1,600 a day for a Managing Consultant; £1,300 a day for a Principal Consultant, £1,100 a day for a Senior Consultant and £850 a day for a Consultant.
For a `Re-design of Management Structures' with the "overall aim…of the removal of 46 management posts", the total fee estimate was £198,000, including 20 Director days; while `Rationalisation of Common Functions', aimed at "the removal of 111 posts" would cost £169,000. KPMG also insisted on incentives for additional savings, with a cap of £50,000. The "removal of 32 posts" from Administration was costed up at £65,000,
Meanwhile `Procurement Quick Wins' (office supplies, printing, phones etc) aimed at £381,000 "net savings to the Council" would cost £233,500 in potential fees.
Within the letter, KPMG identifies that "Salford spends…a relatively large amount of the Council's gross salary cost (14%)" on management while spending on overtime hit a massive £2,851,949, excluding Urban Vision. It states "Whilst Council Policy grants overtime spend in exceptional circumstances, this level of spend is high, and overtime is not a `last resort'".
The letter also identifies Council spending on "external suppliers for training and development" of a huge £1.3million, while venue hire and facilities is found to cost £770,000 a year. Almost £3million was spent on training and development.
Altogether, KPMG said it could save the Council £20.1million by the end of 2010/11 with further savings to follow. The cost to Salford Council from KPMG would be £1,469,369.
Ex Independent Councillor, Joe O'Neill, who was previously Budget Spokesman for opposition groups on Salford Council commented…
"The sad fact is that this Council brings in outside bodies at disgusting rates to save money and streamline services, or to us laymen, cut jobs. Of course the Council will argue it saves money, but my argument will remain the same as the one I put before Council on budget day. If we pay so many high salaries to officers within this Council then they should manage the task, and not have to use highly paid hatchet men at every corner."
Today, UNISON, the UK's leading public sector trade union, called on Tory Communities and Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles, to attack the money councils waste on expensive private consultants, rather than attacking what Pickles called `non jobs' in local government.
Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary, said:
"Eric Pickles is perpetuating the myth that job cuts can be painless. The truth is that Tory cuts will hit communities hard. The tale of the non-job is a myth. Eric Pickles should look a little closer at the valuable work people in local councils do, and at the millions wasted on expensive private consultants, who add little value.
"Freedom of information requests submitted by UNISON in 2008 showed that councils spent at least £800m a year on consultants, and another £1.5bn (£1,500m) a year on agency staff. This money would be better spent protecting services…"
Graphic by Jamie Reid