The new Lib Dem County Group Leader, Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst, has forced a scrutiny review of the astonishing sum of £9.2m the County Council currently spends on publicity and printing.
Lib Dems demanded the figures at the time the County Council’s budget was discussed, but they have only recently been made public. The sum is in addition to the County Council employing 21 full-time staff in their Corporate Communications unit.
“Frankly, I am shocked that the figure is so high,” said Cllr Giles-Medhurst. “Hertfordshire’s Lib Dems have long said that spending on
press and publicity by the Conservative administration at the County Council was too high, especially in these straightened times. But to now
find almost £10m is spent in this way – in addition to the 21 staff – is shameful.
“What’s worse, the spending is spread across several Council departments each doing its own thing. Even if – as the Conservatives seem to think –
this spending is essential, at the very least we must look for economies of scale.
“I am pleased that the Overview and Scrutiny committee agreed that this needed to be looked at. A spend of this amount needs an urgent review”.