Brent Council �9,000 jolly

A council executive will spend nearly �9,000 on two visits to a posh hotel, writes Kate Ferguson. The Brent Council executive sparked outrage when it emerged, writes Kate Ferguson.27 delegates went on an all expenses paid trip to the Latimer Place, in Ch

A council executive will spend nearly �9,000 on two visits to a posh hotel, writes Kate Ferguson.

The Brent Council executive sparked outrage when it emerged, writes Kate Ferguson.

27 delegates went on an all expenses paid trip to the Latimer Place, in Chesham, an exclusive hotel resort in the Buckinghamshire countryside. The bill was �4,398 for two days.

The revelation came days after Brent Council announced it was slashing a further �6.9


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million from its annual spending for the next four years in an unprecedented efficiency drive.

Yet despite a backlash, the newly elected Labour administration plans another trip in October to the same swanky hotel, which will also cost �4,398.

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Councillors made this booking despite knowing there is a recently renovated training centre in Wembley Park, a short walk from the town hall.

Brent Council defended both trips. The first was to decide on the budget cuts, which the council claims was 'good management practice.'

Opposition councillors slammed the excursion as an indefensible waste of taxpayers' money at a time of savage cuts.

Cllr Paul Lorber, Sudbury ward and leader of the Liberal Democrat opposition, said: "It is morally outrageous that the first decision of any consequence that Labour have made regarding their budget is to spend days away at an expensive hotel complex in order to set it.

"There is really no reason why those events have to take place outside of Brent or in hotels which include an overnight stay.

"We invested in a renovation at this training centre with the explicit purpose of avoiding trips like this."

Latimer Place, on its website, is described as 'a tranquil setting and perfect for exploring the surrounding region' and boasts an indoor swimming pool, sauna and steam room.

A council spokeswoman said: "It is considered good management practice for top teams to spend time away together.

"The council researched a range of venues for the away day and got quotes locally and further afield. We decided to go to the venue that was most competitively priced.

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