Saturday, 6 March 2010

Liberal Democrat-Run Oldham Council Spends £3,000 To Visit Luxury Hotel To Discuss Cost Cutting

There is a report in the Daily Telegraph about Liberal Democrat-run Oldham Council spending £3,000 on a jaunt for twenty officers and councillors to discuss cost cutting. It took place at a four star Marriott Park Hotel and Country Club. This is despite the Council's own Town Hall meeting rooms having been recently upgraded at a cost of £500,000.
A Council spokesman says:

"The practice of holding away day events is common among many other local authorities."
That may be true, but that doesn't make it right. Hopefully it may become less common under a Conservative Government that has pledged to ensure greater transparency along the lines outlined in David Cameron's speech yesterday. If councillors knew they faced being exposed and voted out when indulging in such extravagance they might decide that the boring old Town Hall meeting rooms might be good enough after all.

Oldham Council charges £1,514.07 for the average Band D property in Council Tax.

This year the Council Tax is going up by a further 1.9%, an increase backed by Labour, and opposed by the Conservatives; whose Group Leader Cllr. Jack Hulme, Conservative (Chadderton North), accuses them of 'reckless spending.'

Among the questional spending at the council is the new Chadderton Wellbeing Centre which has just opened. The building was budgeted to cost the Council £100,000 a year - but will actually cost £811,000. Whoops!

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