Cost of translation in Cambridgeshire tops £300,000 over three years

Shire Hall, Chambridge.

Shire Hall, Chambridge. - Credit: Archant

Cambridgeshire County Council has spent more than £300,000 on interpreters and translation in the last three years.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show that the authority shelled out £341,206 on translating web pages and documents and hiring interpreters between 2011 and 2014.

Among the languages catered for by the council in the last three years were Dutch, Polish, Arabic, Chinese and Italian and the costs also included British sign language.

The county council said that the majority of the spending went on work with children and families and added that funds were also needed for court hearings and inquests involving foreign nationals.

The council said that East Cambridgeshire and Fenland had seen a “dramatic” increase the number of school children whose first language was Eastern European.

The authority said: “We procure translation and interpretation services via an eastern shires purchasing organisation framework contract.

“This allows teams to ‘call off’ from the framework to meet a specific need from the range of suppliers based on their specific services offered or to instigate a competition under the framework where necessary, intended to secure formal quotations.

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“This framework allows the council to undertake each piece of work at the best price.”