On Monday (4th June 2007) the Council’s Labour controlled Executive agreed a contribution of £20,000 to Regional Cities East. Liberal Democrat leader David Franks says this will be spent on consultants.
David Franks said, “Labour promised to halt the Council’s spend on consultants. This was only one of the wild promises they made during the election just to get votes. It is impossible to know whether they carelessly failed to understand the implications of what they were saying or whether they never had any intention of sticking to the promise. This kind of behaviour brings politics into disrepute. It is not as if they just hinted that they may do something, the commitment to ‘no more consultants’ could not have been more explicit.”
Regional Cities East is a consortium of six large towns in the East of England; Colchester, Ipswich, Luton, Norwich, Peterborough and Southend. Each has been asked to contribute £20,000 to the running costs.
Regional Cities East draft activity budget is £110,000. Out of this £105,000 is scheduled to be spent on research, communications, marketing and promotion. All of this activity will be by consultants.
“It seems consultants are not a thing of the past after all. Never before have such firm and explicit commitments been abandoned so quickly. Which other promises are they going to ditch?” said Cllr Franks.