PR bill for Tax payers

COUNCIL Tax payers in Huntingdon could face a bill for nearly £300,000 over the next three years to tell people about the district council s new headquarters. In total, consultancy could cost up to £700,000 of the £23million price to move the operations c

COUNCIL Tax payers in Huntingdon could face a bill for nearly £300,000 over the next three years to tell people about the district council's new headquarters.

In total, consultancy could cost up to £700,000 of the £23million price to move the operations centre from Godmanchester and re-build the headquarters on the Pathfinder House site, in St Mary's Street, Huntingdon.

The £90,000-a-year communications bill will be split between organisational change consultants, EW Consulting, likely to receive up to £53,000 for internal communications, and Matt Tapp Associates, for whom £38,000 has been set aside, to deal with the public and the media.

That is in addition to HDC's two-strong in-house communications team, which will work with the consultants. One of them said payment was related to the amount of work actually done, and the consultants would not necessarily be engaged for the full project period.


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Other contracts are for property consultants Lambert Smith Hampton, which will manage the building projects and provide technical services with a budget of more than £250,000 over four and a half years, and solicitors Hewitsons, whose fees are capped at £95,000.

There is a budget of £49,000 for SMC Corstorphine & Wright relating to space planning at the operations centre, the office accommodation and the public meeting rooms.

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Other smaller consultancy contracts were awarded last year to DH Barford, the surveyors, and Elysian Associates Limited in connection with the project.

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