Bright Lake Consultancy

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Onthe 14 March 2014 I sent the following correspondence to Councillor Barrow, please see the response attached.

Dear Councillor Barrow,


Bright Lake Consultancy:


I wish to raise with you Shropshire UNISON members’ concerns surrounding the appointment of Ralph Stobart  of Bright Lake Consultancy.  It is understood that he has been employed with the authority  for several months with the intention to continue his contract for the foreseeable future, at great expense to the Council.  This is  at a time when the membership we represent are being subjected to redundancies, spending freezes and blocks on recruitment etc.  This is on top of the huge detriments staff at Shropshire Council have already endured in the last four years.


Previously, Shropshire UNISON has been assured that the use of consultants, other than for very short term, clearly defined specialist projects, would no longer occur.  Can I clarify with you please what has happened in recent months to change this corporate approach? Were lessons not learnt about the previous appointments of highly paid consultants i.e. David Myers, Ron Sweetman etc. and the subsequent damage of reputation and cost to the council.


UNISON is firmly of the opinion that this use of public money at a time when such extreme pressure is being exerted right across the authority represents very poor value for money for our Council, those that serve it and indeed those that fund it through taxation.


This view is compounded when it is clear to us that the remit that this highly paid official is carrying out  is something that has happened several times in recent years and that we clearly have the ability, experience and capability to carry out in-house to a similar, or indeed higher standard and within a much tighter time frame.


I  would be grateful if you could provide the evidence that the work undertaken so far by Mr Stobart solely (not as a result of work by in house staff) has resulted in savings or improved efficiency.





There is of course a  procedure in place for recruiting staff, particularly at this significant level of remunerations. Therefore can you provide Shropshire UNISON with the process used for recruiting Bright Lake Consultancy, how this was approved and by whom.


In addition our members are also asking how Shropshire Council is planning to measure any outcomes in order that all Stakeholders can be assured that this represents value for money.


Your prompt response is much appreciated


Yours sincerely


Alan James

Branch Secretary

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