Page last updated at 09:46 GMT, Saturday, 15 May 2010 10:46 UK

Stoke-on-Trent City Council reveals consultant's bill

Consultants hired to help a Staffordshire council save money could cost the authority about £500,000, it has announced.

Vanguard Consulting has been appointed by Stoke-on-Trent City Council to review its services and identify where it can make savings and cuts.

The first phase of consultancy will cost £450,000 with additional fees to be paid later, the council said.

It said the savings Vanguard identified would outweigh the costs.

The council said in February it needed to borrow £380m to keep running essential services and it was within £15m of its maximum borrowing limit.

In 2009, the council approved plans to make 240 council posts redundant to help it plug an estimated budget shortfall of between £5m to £12m in 2010/2011.

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