We discovered earlier this year that Gateshead Council sent two officers to a Local Government Chronicle awards ceremony at the Grosvenor Hotel in London. It's not exactly the best way to demonstrate that the Council is keeping costs and unnecessary spending under control. The cost of the meal for two was £620 with a further £330 on travel and accommodation. I can't imagine many residents of Gateshead splashing out £620 on a meal. Even a tenth of that would be beyond what many would be prepared to fork out.
The story was carried by the Chronicle and Journal on Saturday and Labour run Gateshead Council explained that "attendance at this national awards ceremony was
funded by an income-generating service run by the Council and not from Council
Tax payers. Money generated by this team goes back into providing local
services for Gateshead residents."
But if you spend £950 from generated income on a meal and trip to London, that's £950 less to spend on services. And all money generated by Gateshead Council belongs to the council taxpayers of Gateshead anyway.
You can read the Chronicle coverage on this link.