Council boss paid £900k consultancy fees by own council

A GMB investigation has revealed cash-strapped Northamptonshire County Council forked out £900,000 to a consultancy owned by former CEO Damon Lawrenson.

At a time when the council has been banned from new spending, a Freedom of Information (FOI) request from the union shows the authority paid out £931,364 to DDL Consultancy during five financial years.

Yesterday the council announced Damon Lawrenson would leave his post as Chief Executive ‘by mutual consent’ after just five months in the job.

He was appointed in November and a separate FOI request by GMB shows no other candidates were shortlisted or even considered for the role of interim CEO.

GMB organiser Rachelle Wilkins said: “For Northamptonshire County Council to splurge almost £1million on consultancy while people are losing their jobs and services are being cut is a real kick in the teeth.

“And what makes it worse is this cash was paid to a company owned by Damon Lawrenson – who has already trousered north of £1,000 a day during his five months as stand-in CEO.

“NCC’s bankruptcy was cooked in up Whitehall by the Conservative’s failed austerity agenda.

“But the staggering financial incompetence of the Tory council has made a bad situation much, much worse.

“Under the Conservatives our public services have been weakened, conditions for the workforce have deteriorated meanwhile fat cats like Damon Lawrenson have got richer.”

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