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UNION BLAST AT COUNCIL "CONSULTANCY CULTURE"

08-02-2010

Union officials have hit out at Birmingham City Council’s “consultancy culture” following The Stirrer’s revelation that two retired local authority officials have been re-hired at top rates of pay by the department which is simultaneously planning hundreds of job losses.

As we reported last week Mike Yarnold, a former Service Director in Education has been brought back at £750 per day after leaving his post last year; while Heather Tomlinson has been brought in as Interim Education Director at twice her previous £120,000 pay rate in Bristol – for a four day week.

They’ve both been employed by the Children, Young People and Families department where 1300 staff have been given redundancy notices.

A union source asked: “Why are they bringing in outsiders when there are enough people with talent inside the Council to do the job – they have nearly 60,000 employees, so if they can’t find people from within that to do specific projects we’ve got real concerns.

“When the Council introduced the employee bargain, they said they would aim to to develop people from within and make the most of their talents – but in practice, this is stifling opportunities.

“They say they have no money, they’ve put a stop on filling new vacancies, yet they can spend 5k a week on a consultant from another authority.

“There’s a consultancy cullture grown up, and they don’t know how to stop it.

“In the same way, they are warning that 1300 jobs could go, but at the same time they’ve got 1500 agency staff on their books. It just doesn’t make sense.”

Birmingham City Council has so far failed to respond to our requests for a comment.

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