Row erupts over 'wasted' £8,000 council review
A Westcountry councillor has claimed taxpayers' money has been 'wasted' on a council management review, from which there will be no final report.
Teignbridge Council hired retired local authority chief executive Jeffrey Ligo to review the council's management structure and suggest improvements and potential savings.
But now, after months of work, Liberal Democrat councillor Alan Connett has said Mr Ligo will not be doing a final report. Instead, a report from the council's chief executive, Nicola Bulbeck, was considered at the council's executive meeting last week.
"It's astonishing that after seven months of work by an outside consultant, there will be nothing to show for the £8,000 we have been told this review has cost," explained Mr Connett, who didn't attend the meeting.
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"There was broad agreement that the time was right to review the council's management structure both to improve efficiency and cut costs wherever possible.
"However, we now find there is to be nothing in writing and the only councillors who have the full detail of a meeting with Mr Ligo are the seven Conservatives on the ruling Executive committee.
"I had a brief meeting with Mr Ligo, as did the leader of Teignbridge's Independent councillors, in which the consultant outlined his views but that is not sufficient when all councillors will want to compare any future changes with his recommendations."
At the last full council meeting, the authority's leader, councillor Jeremy Christophers, told members he would 'consider' Mr Connett's request that a copy of Mr Ligo's final report was made available to all councillors.
In response to Mr Connett, Mr Christophers, who was also absent from the executive meeting, said: "This was never aimed at being a report. It was always about a review. The money spent is representative of what needed to be done."
At the executive last Tuesday, Councillor Gordon Hook said the review was needed so Teignbridge Council could operate in a more business-like fashion and it was good to have 'fresh set of eyes' looking into the management structure.
Nicola Bulbeck said the review has drawn on a great range of her network and contacts. "We've used a complementary blend of experience," she said.
It was agreed that she should continue with a management structure review and a report be presented to the executive in the next four months.