Survey reveals spending on lobbyists and PR companies

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The Independent Online
A SURVEY by the Independent has shown some of the promotional spending by councils, writes Ngaio Crequer.

Derbyshire county council has spent pounds 142,000, which includes advertisements in the local press, leaflets, exhibitions and the use of the lobbyists Westminster Strategy. At one time it had eight staff working full- time on the review.

Bolsover council farmed the review out to Price Waterhouse for pounds 150,000, which included commissioning a Gallup poll.

Chesterfield has spent pounds 39,000, including work on the original submission, a telephone survey (with North East Derbyshire) conducted by Sheffield Business School and use of the consultants Touche Ross. Fifteen staff were reallocated on a part-time basis.

Derby city council spent pounds 103,000 in 1992/93, including consultants' fees, publicity and promotions, display equipment for public meetings and preparing its submission. One member of staff was seconded full- time for a year, three staff half-time and two staff spent 25 per cent of their time on the review.

In Amber Valley, about 15 part- time staff were involved. The council has spent pounds 30,000, including informal surveys. Derbyshire Dales spent pounds 35,000 last year and has budgeted for pounds 50,000 this year. It employed the PR consultants Tavistock Communications, and the lobbyists Ian Greer Associates.

Erewash has spent pounds 19,000 on the consultants Touche Ross, and pounds 14,541 on publicity. About pounds 60,000 was spent on salaries. High Peak spent pounds 150,000, of which pounds 50,000 is for staff time. CSL consultants were used.

North East Derbyshire spent pounds 36,000, including consultancy fees for Touche Ross. A full-time team of four members of staff was backed by others working part-time. South Derbyshire spent pounds 63,000, including pounds 28,000 for consultancy fees, pounds 22,000 for printing and stationery, pounds 8,000 for rooms and equipment.

Avon county council: pounds 68,000 on two studies on the implications of reorganisation and the actual proposals, plus a Cipfa analysis on costs. pounds 5,000 was spent on an exhibition and pounds 400 on two newsletters. A Freepost leaflet will cost pounds 26,000.

Gloucestershire county council spent nearly pounds 100,000, including pounds 79,000 for consultancy fees and expenses, pounds 13,500 on an opinion poll, and pounds 2,500 for leaflets, with commitments rising to pounds 117,500.

Humberside council spent pounds 50,000 on a Mori poll, pounds 20,000 on leaflets and producing the submission.

Chester-le-Street, Durham: referendum shared with seven districts (pounds 15,000). Information, printing, pounds 15,000. Earlier poll pounds 20,000. Staff costs estimated at about pounds 100,000, due to workers being deployed.

East Yorkshire: pounds 45,000, including pounds 23,000 sharing the consultants, CSL, with three other authorities. Plus pounds 22,000 on attending seminars, travelling, publications.

Cleethorpes: pounds 46,000 on two consultancies - Touche Ross on preparing the submission and a marketing firm on public opinion research. Also an opinion poll in a free newspaper. Staff time was about pounds 81,000 up to March 1993.

Glanford spent pounds 24,500, including using Touche Ross, and publicity. Two staff spent 75 per cent of their time on the review for six months.

Great Grimsby: pounds 50,000 up to March including employing a PR team, adverts in local papers, four-page supplement in a free newspaper, and a mobile exhibition. One staff member seconded for three months and 12 staff working part-time.

Scunthorpe's official figure is pounds 25,000, but it estimated the real figure at 'five times that in real terms'. It employed a graphic designer, CSL consultants, and two staff have been working full-time.

North Yorkshire county council: Price Waterhouse pounds 16,000, own survey pounds 4,000, information pounds 7,000, miscellaneous pounds 3,000.

Leicestershire county council spent pounds 77,000 on consultants in the second tranche of the review, including a booklet to every household and business, about 50 public meetings, and county-wide conferences and printing. Shared a Mori poll with most of the districts. Spent pounds 30,000 on preparing its submission.

North West Leicestershire: More than pounds 100,000 on staff time and pounds 50,000 on a consultancy.

Additional research: Naomi Alderman.