Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 11°C

Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

Suffolk: Authority’s bill for staff trips abroad sees sharp fall

10:42 15 November 2012

Authority cuts foreign travel

Authority cuts foreign travel

ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC © 2008

AN MP has applauded council chiefs for curbing travel expenditure after figures showed the amount spent on staff trips abroad had fallen sharply.

An Ipswich Star Freedom of Information request to Suffolk County Council found workers had made 44 foreign visits to 12 different countries between June 2011 and last month.

Destinations included Austria, Switzerland, Rwanda, Romania and Germany.

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said he was pleased more consideration was being taken to reduce unnecessary spending.

Last year, Mr Gummer blasted the council for “frivolous spending” after the cost of trips abroad for the six years leading up to May 2011 amounted to almost £100,000, with the county footing nearly half of the bill.

The latest figures show 16 of the 44 trips were made by Children and Young People’s Services, with the journeys usually being made to help assess children’s care needs.

In one case, two members of staff from the department were sent to Portugal to assess extended family members for a care plan. Similar trips were made to Lithuania and Belgium.

In total, the trips cost the county council £12,329, with an additional nine trips being funded through contributing sources including EU grants. The trips paid for by grants and funds totalled more than £4,300.

Mr Gummer said: “It is heartening to see the county council is getting on top of travel spending and only doing what is necessary.

“I think most people would agree that trips involving the care of children are important and should be taken with care.

“And it is good that almost all of the money being spent on these trips is for important reasons rather than frivolous wasting of money which was seen from previous trips abroad.”

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: “Foreign travel by county council staff is not something that happens frequently; however where it is genuinely necessary to deliver and improve services, it does happen.

“At all times, costs are kept to a minimum and they are very often covered by external organisations.

“It’s important to look at why these trips are, on occasion, made. Sometimes our social workers have to travel abroad to unite vulnerable children with their extended families.

“And sometimes our external funding team travels abroad to secure much needed investment in Suffolk. Any travel will be part of delivering the best possible services for Suffolk.”

0 comments

Aerial shots of Ipswich Waterfront - courtesy of www.skycameast.co.uk

A deer that was trapped underneath a wooden structure near Ipswich Waterfront tonight has been rescued.

Zena Gravener, with Patrick Last, reignites her battle with Suffolk County Council over a

A 73-year-old woman has reignited a campaign to push Suffolk County Council (SCC) into cutting back a “dangerous” grass verge near her home.

The A14 near Stowupland

A crash involving two vehicles blocked the eastbound A14 at Stowmarket earlier this afternoon.

Trail makers are needed to keep an eye on the pigs during the summer months

Friendly faces are needed to greet visitors to Ipswich this summer and ensure the interactive Pigs Gone Wild trail is a success.

An Abellio Greater Anglia train at Colchester

A number of trains – starting with the 16.00 Colchester Town to Colchester – have been terminated or cancelled this afternoon due to a member of train crew being unavailable.

Firefighters from Colchester were called to a blaze on a boat.

Two fire crews from Colchester were called to a boat moored on the quay in the town after reports of a fire on Saturday morning.

Clacton lifeboat was launched during the drama at the pier.

All four emergency services were called to a drama on Clacton Pier on Friday afternoon when someone was seen sitting on the wrong side of the fence.

The site earmarked for 175 homes in Stowupland.

The approval of 175 homes on the edge of a Suffolk village has prompted fears that planning shortfalls highlighted in the decision could leave more communities at risk from “predatory” applications.

Mark Newton has been appointed the new chairman of Suffolk Coastal District Council

A district council has appointed its new chairman.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24