Devon

Torquay Council spends millions on outside 'experts'

Torbay Council has spent almost £23m on consultants and professional fees since 2006, according to an internal report.

Torbay's mayor, Nick Bye, said the majority of the money had been spent on architects and lawyers for major regeneration projects.

But the amount has been labelled "astounding" by the public service union, Unison.

In June the council said it had to make savings of 25% over the next four years.

Regeneration projects

The Employment of Consultants Review is due to be discussed by council members at a cabinet meeting later.

Roger Spackman, Unison's local government organiser in Torbay, said: "This is an astounding amount of money... these sums are much bigger than the entire budget of an average district council, such as South Hams or Teignbridge."

But Mr Bye told BBC News: "The biggest sums of money are for professional fees, for various regeneration projects.

"Substantially it is architects and legal fees.

"We go outside the authority when we have projects undertaken and we need the expertise."

The unitary authority's total budget is £115m.

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