The Labour-run Council of Bury has appointed a ‘strategic advisor’ to help with the local elections in May. The funding for this comes directly from the Covid Contain Grant received by the Government.
The Government has continually provided local councils with economic support so that the local elections can run as smoothly as possible. Most Councils are using this effectively to improve election processes and local access to polling booths. However, Bury Council are instead using the money to hire an external consultant. This is costing local taxpayers thousands in consultancy fees.
The Leader of Bury Conservatives, Cllr. Nick Jones, questioned whether taxpayers’ money is being used effectively, as the Labour-led Bury Council has a “long history of spending hundreds of thousands in consultancy fees”.
“The average wage in Bury is £450 per week, yet the Labour Council believe it is justifiable to spend £700 a day on an outside consultant who lives nearly 100 miles away.”
The Council has been criticised for putting the election outcome as a priority over the businesses and communities struggling because of the pandemic.
The Deputy Leader of Bury Conservatives, Cllr. Paul Cropper, said in a press statement (below): “2020 was a horrible year for residents and businesses both in Bury and across the country. Throughout this time, the Labour Council have complained about Government support not being enough.”
Members of Bury Conservatives are worried about the Labour Council because they don’t believe they “have the skills in-house to deliver an election”.
Local elections are to take place on Thursday May 6th, having been postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Bury Council has been contacted for comment. Its full press statement can be read here:Bury Labour Council Appoint £700 Strategic Advisor for Elections