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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Cumbria police spend £100k on consultancy fees

More than £100,000 has been spent by Cumbria police on consultancy fees.

Latest figures reveal the Cumbrian force has spent £127,481.80 on external consultancy firms since 2009.

The force, which must make savings of around £20m by the end of the 2015/16 financial year, says the money was spent on ‘expert advice’ to help them decide what changes to make to save cash.

It was announced in December that the force would close and sell 13 police stations, including Cockermouth, Wigton, Maryport, Cleator Moor, Egremont, Keswick, Millom and Alston.

The information, which was released following a Freedom of Information request, shows how much money is being paid to external firms to tell the force how best to run its services and save money.

In 2009 the police spent £112,114.80 on a review of its internal IT service with PriceWaterhouseCooper.

Later the same year a £14,117 review of the force fleet was carried out by Munro Kempton Associates and in February this year an occupational health review started which has to date cost £1,250.

However, police have defended the spending claiming the consultancy work will help.

A police spokesman said: “Decisions to alter the way in which we provide our service are not taken lightly and, in certain situations, the constabulary has commissioned expert advice to ensure that proposed changes are sound.

“External consultants conducted a review of Cumbria Constabulary’s IT department in 2009/2010.

“This detailed report helped to reshape the structure and processes of the IT department, resulting in the department becoming more effective.”

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