Thursday, September 28, 2023

Council leader admits “We cannot defend” the £200,000 consultant

IF YOU have come looking for a “Fat Cat” article then you may have found the wrong place.

On too many occasions, YT feels that too many of these articles are informed by the green eyed monster than the eagle eyed journalist.

However, it hadn’t escaped our notice that among the invoices Thurrock Council published on their website site is one for Pragmatic Change Solutions Ltd.

The companies sole director is infact the Interim Director of Change at Thurrock Council, Richard Waterhouse.

From April to December, payments totalling just under £145k have been made to PCS Ltd. Come March 31st, the total runs just shy of £200,000.

There are a number of ways at looking at this. Many question: how can the Prime Minister be on £165k when a consultant at Thurrock Council is on £200k? Indeed, how can the chief exec of Thurrock Council be on £175k, when a consultant is on £200k.

However, a number of politicians have jumped to Mr Waterhouse’s defence.

Ockendon councillor Barry Johnson said: “I have seen Richard work at close quarters and he is very impressive. We were charged by the Audit Commission with improving a number of systemic and cultural aspects of life at Thurrock Council. Within a a very short space of time, Richard has achieved that and he has done that, saving the taxpayer a vast amount of money”.

Others are not so sure.

One source who did not wish to be named said: “One of the promises regarding the cuts in Thurrock was that it would root out that layer of management rather than front line services.

“It is clear that the front line is in danger while they senior managers have super-protected their own positions”.

YT spoke to the council leader, John Kent and asked him if he could justify employing a consultant whose on-target earnings appear to be in the region of £200,000 a year.


  1. What a refreshing change for the leader of a council to not go around defending and trying to justify these types of situations where conultants are paid lots of money.
    I have heard numerouse council leaders from other councils over the last few day defending these same situations and while on paper they may be correct with the amount of money saved by consultants surely they can bring the jobs “in house”.

  2. i fully apreciate that it’s not something that can happen overnight and these things take time ,however the main jist of my point was over the past few days wile listening to the radio number of council leaders have goneon the back foot and defended simillar issues and it was refreshing to hear someone say when asked the question “we can’t defend it” then go on to explain what has been done while being realistic and admitting that it can’t be changed overnight .

  3. Wait a minute Cllr Johnson. The so called ‘improvements’ which you have credited to Richard Waterhouse happened well before he started in the Council! Pull the other one!
    The Council has also credited Mr Richard Waterhouse with saving the council £1m yet ask them to publicly name where these savings have been achieved and thay cannot do it. If £1m has been saved, its been in the Directorates that are not headed up by Richard Watershouse. His ( less well -paid) colleagues must be spitting in their beers!
    The truth of the matter is, Mr Richard Waterhouse runs a directorate of about a couple of dozen people. Compare that to his compatriots who run the mighty services such as adult and children’s social care, housing, refuse collection, street cleaning, planning etc. and you’ll see we are paying a lot of money for a whole lot of hot air.

    Come clean Thurrock. Mr Waterhouse is an embarrassin millstone around your necks. Ditch him and ditch him now!


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