Labour-run Haringey Council’s massive £56m bill for consultants, interims and agency staff has been uncovered by Haringey Liberal Democrats. In just 2 years the Labour-run council in North London and its housing arm, Homes for Haringey (HFH) spent £9.7m on interim staff, £38.1m on agency staff and £8.3m on consultants.
Last year alone Haringey Council and HFH spent nearly £21m on agency costs, nearly £4m on consultants and over £5m on interim staff. The overall bill for 2014-2015 financial year rose by just under £5m compared to the previous financial year.
The Liberal Democrat opposition have repeatedly attacked the council for wasting taxpayers’ hard-earned money and for failing to keep tight control of the council’s budget. To put the massive bill in context Cllr Joe Goldberg (at that time Cabinet Member for Finance) in his introduction to the budget for 2014-15 stated that the council will probably need to find savings of between £60m and £70m by 2020.
The local Lib Dem opposition have said that at least some of those savings can be found from the enormous bill for agency staff, interims and consultants. The Lib Dems have proposed cutting the bill for agency staff in their budget amendments in the past but this was voted down by Labour councillors.
Cllr Gail Engert, Lib Dem Leader of the Opposition, comments:
"This massive bill for agency staff, interims and consultants needs to be cut instead it has gone up by nearly £5m in just a year. Vital services for the young, older people and some of the most vulnerable people in the borough are being cut by Labour whilst they splash out taxpayers’ money on expensive consultants, interim and agency staff.
"Residents rightly want to see their hard-earned taxes spent on the services residents use, not on expensive outside consultants to write reports and draw up strategies. People in Haringey pay the fifth highest council tax in London.
"Labour should be taking care to spend taxpayers’ money wisely. They should not be spending so many millions on expensive agency staff, interims and consultants."
Figures were provided by the council in response to a written question from Cllr Pippa Connor. Totals have been calculated from those figures.