Cannes you believe it?

Cannes£10,000 would be better spent fixing our crumbling roads or providing care for our vulnerable children or elderly citizens rather than on French Seaside Spree, says Liberal Democrat Leader

The Leader of the Opposition and Liberal Democrat Group on Oldham Council, Councillor Howard Sykes, MBE, has questioned the value of Oldham Council spending more than £10,000 + VAT to send two Council officers to the French Riviera resort of Cannes at a time when Council services have been cut to the bone.

The two officers were representing Oldham Council at the three day Marché International des Professionnels d’Immobilier (MIPIM) property conference earlier this month.  Oldham Council was one of at least nine around the UK that the national press reported were sending representatives at public expense.

Commenting Councillor Sykes stated:  “The attendance by these Council officers at this conference at this time; at such expense sends; out all of the totally wrong signals when the Council is cutting services to the bone or just stopping them because of swingeing cuts in central government funding.”

He added:  “I am not suggesting that this simply amounted to three days of sunshine and champagne.  I am sure these officers were also meeting with potential investors in Oldham, but many residents in our Borough; who are struggling to pay their Council Tax bills; will rightly ask why this money could not have been spent on fixing potholes on our crumbling roads or providing care for our vulnerable children or elderly citizens rather than on jet travel and hotel bills for staff going to the French Riviera.”

Councillor Sykes is also still investigating whether this £10,000 bill represents the full cost to the Council, and he has an outstanding enquiry with officers in the Chief Executive’s team.

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