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If you think government officials waste your money………

44840  There has been much published in Cayman’s media concerning the number of trips our senior government officials have made over the past four years. Ex ministers McKeeva Bush and Juliana O’Connor-Connolly have come in for the most criticism.

However, compared to the following story that relates only to local council officials (NOT UK GOVERNMENT) and their trips, waste, cover-ups, etc., they are saints.

Read on – this story was aired on UK’s Channel 4 television channel in the last 24 hours

How councils waste your money


Councils across the UK have annual budgets in the tens of billions of pounds. But do you know what they really spend it on?

About 60 per cent of council budgets come from central government, with the remainder raised by business rates and council taxpayers.

Much of this is spent on vital and valuablechannel_4_logo1 services such as social care and education. But an investigation by Channel 4 Dispatches reveals some spending that local authorities across the UK wished you didn’t know about, from expensive cars to foreign trips and from five-star hotels to golf lessons.

The programme’s findings are based on hundreds of Freedom of Information requests, which offer a glimpse into how councils spend our money.

Reporter Antony Barnett interviews Lord Hanningfield about his extravagant spending during his time as the Essex council leader.

The programme reveals the councillor who lives 70 miles from his constituents but whose party still claims an allowance, and also discloses the millions spent on gagging council workers so they don’t spill the beans.

To watch the video go to:

Related story from UK’s Daily Express

Council millions go to waste on perks

By John Ingham

Councils apendingTOWN hall chiefs will be accused tonight of wasting millions on perks, including company cars, golf lessons, pedicures and luxury foreign trips.

One council even had its own ambassador to foster relations with its twin town in France.

Local authorities also spend millions gagging their own staff to prevent them telling all, an investigation by Channel 4’s Dispatches programme claims.

The documentary will show how over five years Lord Hanningfield, disgraced former Tory leader of Essex County Council, spent nearly £300,000 on hospitality and travel with his council purchase card.


It included £136,000 on trips to 24 countries, including £7,700 on a three-day seminar in the Bahamas and £2,000 to stay at a five-star hotel in India.

But the peer, jailed in 2011 for falsely claiming £28,000 in parliamentary expenses, defended his spending. He said he entertained people who helped Essex save money, explaining: “It’s worth spending £100 to save a million, isn’t it?”

Of his stay in India, he added: “If you’re going to stay there, you’ve got to stay somewhere you’re not going to be ill.”

The How Councils Waste Your Money programme is based on hundreds of Freedom of Information requests.

The documentary comes just days after the TaxPayers’ Alliance revealed that central and local government wasted more than £120billion of taxpayers’ money in just one year – or £4,500 for every household.

Dispatches focused on the financial years between 2007 and 2012, finding that councils spent £30million-plus ferrying town hall top brass around in chauffeur-driven cars.

Big spenders were Glasgow City Council on £983,000, Belfast City Council on £704,000, Birmingham City Council on £663,000 and Rotherham Borough Council on £644,000.

Taxpayers found themselves paying for 246 chauffeur-driven cars including one Rolls-Royce, 52 Jaguars and 24 BMWs.

Councils also spent nearly £500million on charge cards, saying they increased efficiency and cut purchasing costs for council offices and schools.

Fenland District Council, in Cambridgeshire, laid out £205 on golf lessons as a gift while York City Council spent £180 on pedicures and manicures for disadvantaged young people.

Across Britain council chiefs lavished £3.7million on globetrotting jaunts to 90 countries in those five years. Birmingham City Council spent £319,000 visiting 43 countries. Wigan spent £25,000 a year, including £23,000 on a salary, for an “ambassador” on twinning with the Loire Valley town Angers in France.

eric pickles-408097Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles slammed the high spending at a time of austerity. He said: “Money spent on golf lessons by local authorities, or pedicures, is not wisely spent.”

Councils in Britain are responsible for £114billion of taxpayers’ money – more than double the defence budget. But the Government has abolished the Audit Commission, which kept an eye on such spending.

Mr Pickles said: “If Boots the chemist can appoint auditors, I am sure local authorities should be able to, provided they don’t use the same one all the time.”

For more on this story go to:





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