The cost of council’s consultant

FIGURES released by a new town council show that the consultant acting as its town clerk has been paid £18,358 for four months work. Ted Bocking has been working for Letchworth Garden City Council since April 4 on an hourly rate of £40. Mr Bocking is on

FIGURES released by a new town council show that the consultant acting as its town clerk has been paid £18,358 for four months' work.

Ted Bocking has been working for Letchworth Garden City Council since April 4 on an hourly rate of £40.

Mr Bocking is on a five-month contract and is due to finish at the end of August when a new chief officer takes over.

His average monthly salary for the four months so far is £4,589.

A statement of invoices approved by LGCC's finance committee last week show that in May, Mr Bocking's company Ted Bocking Associates was paid £5,105 and in June £5,512.50.

Further figures released by the council show that in April he was paid £3,066 and in July £4,675.

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Tony Wickham, the council's chairman, said that Mr Bocking was a "consultant, not a town clerk" and his company had carried out duties in addition to the role of a normal town clerk.

These included placing adverts in the trade press to recruit the new chief officer and helping the council to find new premises.

A representative from the National Association of Local Councils told The Comet that as Mr Bocking was classed as self-employed, LGCC had not had to meet any additional costs for his service, such as National Insurance or pension contributions.

Mr Wickham said that Mr Bocking had 40 years senior government experience.

The new chief officer, Richard Bowran, who will start in September, will earn £33,315 a year.

Mr Bocking said: "The council had the situation where the clerk had resigned and the council needed a new clerk, they needed somebody who was able to step in quickly, and who was capable of doing the job."

With regard to his £40 per hour fee, he said: "You will find that is not at the top of the list.

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