THOUSANDS of pounds of taxpayers’ cash has been spent on hiring a public relations guru for Luton Borough Council, despite the authority having a 20-strong communications team of its own.
The council has paid communications consultant Michele Smith a total of £167,000 over the past five years, a Freedom of Information request has shown.
In the 2009/10 financial year, Michele Smith Communications was paid more than £47,000 by the council, with one individual invoice for ‘PR cover’ coming in at more than £5,000.
In 2006, 2007 and 2008 she was paid as a freelance editor for Lutonline magazine, the council-produced newspaper delivered to thousands of homes in Luton by LSN Media, the publishers of Luton on Sunday and LD Express.
The council’s own communications team costs the public purse in excess of £400,000 a year, and includes a head of communications role with a salary of up to £67,000, a senior press relations officer, press officers, an internal communications officer, plus a manager, three editors and a team of graphic designers for the council website.
My comment: We have council CEOs employing consultants because they can't do the job they are paid to do and now one employing consultants because their communications team can't do the job they are paid to do.
Read the full story from the source Luton Today