TAXPAYERS have every right to question whether their hard-earned cash is being spent in the right places.

Two of our stories in the latest Gazette have provoked some concerns.

On one hand, the council has begun a month-long consultation with the public to look at how the library service can save £500,000. 

This has sparked the inevitable fears of library closures, and families have hit the streets and social media to express their concerns.

And so they should. These are valued, age-old services which real people really care about.

On the other hand, we read with interest about the council spending a whopping £32.8million on agency staff and a further £9.5million on consultants’ fees in five years.  Wow, that’s a lot of money.

A spokesman for the council informed us it “aims to keep the use of agency staff to a minimum, advocating the permanent employment of the workforce where possible”.

It’s little wonder when stories like this are uncovered by the Gazette that the public want to know what the thinking is behind some of these decisions. 

Sadly, we’re none the wiser on the enormous agency spend, while we wait to see if any libraries are lost.