Northern Ireland council spent £2k on clown study - another spent £5k on logo
A new report has found one Northern Ireland council spent £2,100 on consultants to examine the potential benefits of a clown festival and comedy night.
Another spent over £5,000 on the design of a new logo.
The findings were uncovered by an investigation by The Times which found a near £400million spend last year among 266 councils across the UK which responded to a Freedom of Information request.
That figure overall was up almost a third over the past four years and demonstrated how some councils had increased spend on consultants despite cutting back on services.
The Times found Newry, Mourne and Down District Council £2,100 on economic impact reports for a clown festival and comedy night.
While Derry City & Strabane District Council spent £5,600 on a new logo and branding.
The Local Government Association, told the paper it would be a waste of money to employ full time staff for occasional help in specialists. It also said consultant spend was a small part of council expenditure.
A spokeswoman for Derry City and Strabane District Council explained that due to the reform of local administration in 2014 and the merger between the former Derry City and Strabane district councils, a new suite of branding materials was required for the new corporate council body.
She added: "Much work on the rebranding process was carried out internally but due to additional pressures on resourcing following the merger, and the specialist nature of the work required, some elements of the rebranding campaign were outsourced to ensure the process could be completed within a reasonable timeframe with the required level of expertise."
A Newry Mourne and Down District Council said: "The Clown Festival was not a Newry, Mourne and Down District Council run event. The organisers of the event requested sponsorship funding support for this event.
"Approval was granted for sponsorship funding support for this event in 2014/15 prior to the current term of the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.
"An economic impact assessment was carried out on all of the tourism events that formed the annual event programme in the council district in 2015/16 including the Clown Festival. This assessment was carried out to determine if the events provided value for money and economic impact to the district."
Belfast Telegraph Digital