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Communal bin consultation cost the taxpayer £30K

May 4, 2009

bin-bagsNick Perry, the Lib Dem parliamentary campaigner for Hastings & Rye, has uncovered the total cost of the Hastings and St Leonards communal bins consultation to the taxpayer: £30, 529.

Nick obtained the figure under the Freedom of Information Act and it includes costs for staff time as well as the practical elements of the consultation.

Whilst the consultation has been hailed as a great success by Hastings Borough Council, it also had numerous problems including major mailing mistakes, and was extended on more than one occasion due to demands from the community that local people needed more time to submit their views.

Speaking over the Bank Holiday weekend Nick said,

“Don’t get me wrong. If it is a case of spending the money or riding roughshod over local opinion, then the money was well spent.

“However, I know that there were some pretty serious errors in the consultation process. And given the hostility to the proposals in certain areas, it seems bizarre to me that the Conservative Cabinet could not have taken the political temperature a bit – done some informal research on the doorstep – and saved the taxpayer a great deal of money.

“This, and other information that is coming out of Hastings Town Hall, suggests to me that the Conservatives are not the great stewards of public money that they would like us to believe. And that they are not spending our money in the best ways to protect us against the effects of the recession.”

[What are your views about the Conservatives’ management of Hastings Borough Council and East Sussex County Council?  Please use the form below to submit your views]

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