01:58PM, Friday 19 November 2021
New council HQ, Observatory House, Windsor Road, Slough
The council may have to pay up to £1million to external commissioners to scrutinise its decision-making.
In October, councillors learned that the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DHULC) proposed to transfer certain duties away from Slough council to external commissioners.
This includes scrutiny of financial management and oversight of revenue collection, as well as the distribution of benefits.
The DHULC also proposed oversight surrounding the appointment and dismissal of officers.
The commissioners will have the power to direct Slough council to make certain decisions, if it does not do so of its own accord.
It is currently unknown how many commissioners will be appointed, though the council notes that a local authority in a similar situation was appointed two of them.
The cost of the commissioners will be paid by the council, as will any costs in associated support or consultancy.
It is estimated that the lead commissioner will be paid £800-a-day and their assistants £700 per day for three days a week. T
he commissioners will be in place for three years.
The total costs over those three years could be £650,000 for the commissioners and another £350,000 for support, making £1million in total, councillors learned in a fractious cabinet meeting on Monday.
However, the report says that ‘no other options are available’ – the appointment of commissioners is a decision by the DHULC.