Information campaign branded waste of money

By Beth Sharp Friday 25 April 2014 Updated: 25/04 08:54

COUNCIL chiefs have been accused of wasting more than £34,000 of taxpayers money on self-promotion.

The money has been spent as part of Worcestershire County Council's 'You said, we did' campaign aimed at highlighting to residents how the authority had responded to public feedback.

The cash was used to cover the costs of producing and posting a range of products from flyers to bus shelter posters in locations across the county.

Council bosses estimate the posters, which will be up for 16 weeks, will be seen by almost 29 million people.

But Coun Peter McDonald, leader of the Labour group on the council, said at a time the controlling Conservative group were cutting frontline services, to use money to 'subsidise party political propaganda' was disgusting and added salt to the wounds of those affected by the cuts.

He has called for an independent investigation by the audit committee to ensure the campaign is based on impartial information about the council's services and not propaganda supporting the political aspirations of the controlling group.

"'You said we did' is a barmy campaign, it is as far from the truth as you can get," Coun McDonald said.

"The people of Worcestershire have been protesting about the cuts to our libraries, buses, youth provision, social care, no service has been spared. The people of Worcestershire said one thing and the council did the other.

"The public purse should never be used to fund such propaganda which insults the intelligence of each and every taxpayer in Worcestershire."

A council spokeswoman said it was important the authority continued to listen to people and informed them how taxpayers' money was being spent.

"The poster sites have been selected in areas which will be seen by a high volume of people, making this an efficient method of communicating with a large audience.

"The council's four priorities, 'health and well-being', 'children and families', 'open for business' and 'the environment', were informed by talking with approximately 35,000 residents and businesses.

"The council is providing feedback on its delivery against these four priorities, which local people said were important and we encourage people to have their say."

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