Chiefs at North Norfolk District Council branded ‘selfish’ for spending �1,300 on media training
A decision by town hall bosses to spend more than �1,300 on media training for a select group of councillors has been slammed as 'unacceptable'.
North Norfolk District Council spent the four-figure sum on two half-day sessions for cabinet members and the authority's three-strong corporate management team.
The Conservative-led council spent �1,250 - plus �80 expenses - hiring an outside consultant to conduct the sessions earlier this month, which were 'very helpful' to those that attended.
But Liberal Democrat member Graham Jones branded the spend as 'hypocritical' when the authority is cutting services.
He said: 'At a time when jobs are threatened, car parking charges are hiked and services are being reduced it is selfish for the leader and cabinet to spend this sort of money on themselves and the three corporate directors. This is council tax payers' money which the council taxpayers can ill afford to spend in this way.
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'I am not against training for members but media training for the leader and cabinet cannot remotely be considered a priority at this time.'
Leader Helen Eales, who attended the sessions, thought it 'sensible' for cabinet members to receive the training, as part of the council constitution dictates they take questions from the media more often than others. And despite the �1,330 bill, she said the �7,525 budget for member training had been left with an under spend.
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'We have been very careful in keeping costs very low this year,' Mrs Eales added.
'It was a sensible thing to do and it was a small amount of the budget.'