Liberal Democrat councillors continue to challenge the decision by the Conservative administration to spend money on unnecessary security at County Hall.
Cllr David Tutt, Leader of the Lib Dem County Councillors, comments: “We welcome the Freedom of Information request that has finally revealed what we have been complaining about for months. The Conservatives have spent almost £14,000 on unnecessary security to protect themselves from having to talk to the public. This is a vital part of the democratic process and what councillors have been elected to do.”
Cllr Steve Murphy adds: “This is a scandalous waste of money, particularly given the almost £30 million of cuts we will have to find in the next financial year on top of around £138 million that has already been taken from the County Council’s budget.
“I have asked about the amount being spent on security staff on several occasions and pointed out that at some meetings, security staff have either outnumbered members of the public, or have been present, for example at Cabinet meetings, when no members of the public have even been in attendance. At one Lead Member for Transport meeting, there were 5 children under 10 with three parents and 8 security guards. Conservative County Councillors are clearly more afraid of children than of getting on with the job of providing them with a safe route to school. It’s time to stop this nonsensical waste of money and for Conservative councillors to engage with the public rather than trying to shut them out.”