PRESS RELEASE – 14th February 2012
SURREY HEATH CONSTITUENCY LABOUR PARTY
“Surrey Heath spends over £13000 on breakfasts, dinner and booze”
Following a Freedom of Information Request from Mr Richard Wilson, a Windlesham resident, Surrey Heath Borough Council have been forced to admit that it has spent over £13000 of taxpayer money on providing food and drink for just 3 meals. In a further embarrassment, the Council were unable to say how much public money was being spent on alcohol for social events involving their councillors.
The cost of the food for two “Business Breakfast” events has now been discovered as £4615 each or a total of £9230 for 2011. This meant that those present (including many Council officers and local politicians), tucked into luxury sausages, bacon and eggs costing around £30 each. This did not include other costs associated with marketing this event or use of the Theatre as the venue. We believe that £30 is probably the most expensive breakfast in the whole of Surrey.
In a further revelation, over £4000 has been spent each year on providing a “Civic Dinner”. This exclusive event is attended by around 50 politicians and officers from Surrey Heath and other boroughs at a cost of around £80 a head.
Mr Wilson said, “This just shows how out of touch our local Conservatives have become. Of course, it is important that the Council meet with local business people and discuss common issues. However, the business community would never allow food costs to spiral like this within their own companies. I don’t see why hard working residents should pay their taxes so that lots of politicians and Council officers turn up at expensive events and then stuff themselves with all this free food and drink.”
Labour councillor Rodney Bates said, “I am grateful to Mr Wilson for drawing these shocking figures to my attention. Every family household and business in Surrey Heath is looking to cut costs and the Council should be doing the same. We therefore need an urgent review about the cost and purpose of these events and the people attending so that our hard-pressed taxpayers get better value for money than at present.”
This information comes only weeks after the Conservative Executive forced through an increase of 43% for elderly people needing an assisted bath at the Windle Valley Day Centre and only days after some Conservatives were found to be receiving £1380 of special allowances despite them doing no work.
Contact: Richard Wilson – 01276 479658 or mob. 07939 273229
Cllr Rodney Bates – 01276 679957