Labour’s manifesto for the Hammersmith and Council election pledged to “freeze the use of management consultants”.
Far from keeping that pledge Labour have gone on a spending binge.
A recent decision was:
“That approval be given for a direct award of a contract for up to £138,000 to Deloitte using the “ConsultancyOne” framework agreement let by Crown Commercial Services in order to undertake an independent review of the Tri-borough programme.”
That also decided to allocate an extra £12,000 for “general project costs” to round it up to £150,000.
Labour have dithered over whether or not they support Tri-borough.. even though it is providing savings of £34.6 million to the Hammersmith and Fulham Council Taxpayer this year.
So setting up a Critical Friends Board was a convenient political fudge. In reality they are not going to pull out of it as stumping up £34.6 million of savings elsewhere would be rather problematic for them.
Certainly there is potential for achieving further savings in shared services. No doubt Deloitte could suggest some. Planning and housing services are obvious areas. But the point is that to achieve this Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster would need to agree.
For Hammersmith and Fulham to unilaterally decide to extend Tri-borough arrangements misses the point.
The Critical Friends Board is an expensive, ill-defined, gimmick.