Sheffield council defends big bill

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Sheffield Council has defended its use of consultants in a bid to set the record straight over high costs.

Earlier this month The Star revealed city bosses spent £4.7 million on consultants over the 12 months to the end of November. In some cases it paid out £800-a-day in wages.

But the council says the actual spend on buying in specialist skills and knowledge externally is £543,000.

It says the remainder relates to ‘suppliers’ carrying out its main work, which includes technical services, architects and engineers working on construction contracts such as The Moor market.

Chief executive John Mothersole said: “People have used the standard industry classification for suppliers without looking deeper to see exactly what the supplier was providing to the council.

“From the figure quoted, £1.8 million of that was for running the council’s main financial systems.

“This is not consultancy, although the supplier does classify themselves generally as being a consultancy.”