October 3, 2016
Wolverhampton council pay out £630,000 for private language interpreters and translators
The authority used contractor The Big Word, which provides staff when they are needed in children’s services and social services.
But the cost has been criticised by a city councillor, who says recent immigrants should be encouraged to learn English.
The cost comes as the council faces huge cuts. It has been forced to make savings of £175 million over the past six years and it is estimated another £54m still has to be found.
In 2014/15 translation and interpreting services cost the council £193,093.88, in 2015/16 they cost £320,890.87 and so far this year they have cost £117,044.80.
The total amount spent is over £630,000. The council has said it is legally obliged to provide translation services in certain circumstances.
Councillor Andrew Johnson, cabinet member for resources, said: “We don’t routinely print documents in lots of different languages, which is a common misconception.