Eastleigh Borough Council Consultants Fees: where has the money gone?

Eastleigh Borough Council logo

As part of the ongoing investigation on where Eastleigh Borough Council are spending taxpayer’s money, Eastleigh Labour Party opens up more questions regarding consultants fees.

Despite 4.2 million spent in 12 months, Eastleigh Borough Council has refused to provide information into the work completed in relation to ‘consultants fees’. The latest update is that a Freedom of Information request has been refused.

Eastleigh Borough Council have confirmed that they have the relevant information available, but they are unable to provide it. The exact response Freedom of Information request is here:

The Council considers the information to be exempt from disclosure under S12 of the Act.  Section 12 of the Act allows the Council to refuse to answer the request where it estimates that answering the request would exceed the appropriate limit.  For the purposes of the Act, the appropriate limit is £450 for local authorities.  

The Council’s fees and charges can be viewed on our website at: https://www.eastleigh.gov.uk/council/general-public-information/freedom-of-information/foi-fee-and-charges.  You will note the Council’s standard charges are as follows: 

•    £25 per hour for staff time
•    10p per A4 black and white print out or photocopy
•    50p per A4 colour print out or photocopy
•    35p per CD if already held in this format

The Council has estimated it would take approximately 97 hours (20 minutes per Consultants’ fee listed Jan-Dec 2020, ie. 292 separate fees for that period) to extract the information to comply with your request.  This time is equivalent to £2,425 and thus will exceed the appropriate limit. 

If you wish to Council to continue with this request please notify me you wish to make a payment.

What do we know?

  • Eastleigh Borough Council spends millions with companies not based in Eastleigh or the wider borough on consultants fees
  • Eastleigh Borough Council have information available but are not willing to provide it without a sizable payment
  • Failure by the Liberal Democrats to secure the Local Plan has resulted in massive cost to Eastleigh tax payers
  • Liberal Democrats are having to implement parking charges in Eastleigh to supplement this expenditure (yes, you need to pay to park your car outside your house in Eastleigh)

Eastleigh Labour Party will continue to investigate this huge expenditure by Eastleigh Borough Council.

Sam