Fly me to the moon - 39 times!

COUNTY employees have clocked up the equivalent ot 39 return journeys to the moon in 12 months - despite a major cost-cutting drive to reduce them.Latest figures show staff at Suffolk County Council racked up 19,945,156 business miles during 2006/07.

COUNTY employees have clocked up the equivalent of 39 return journeys to the moon in 12 months - despite a major cost-cutting drive to reduce them.

Latest figures show staff at Suffolk County Council racked up 19,945,156 business miles during 2006/07.

The mileage rate cost the taxpayer £5.7million and is just 5,484 miles less than 2005/06 - despite council chiefs pledging to cut mileage by one per cent every year in a bid to save £250,000.

Kathy Pollard, Liberal Democrat group leader, said: “This is quite an astronomical figure. These figures come at a time when the administration is proposing nearly £1million in cuts to bus services across Suffolk.

“Once again we see yet another aspect of Conservative policy undermining their claims to be creating the greenest county.”

Jane Storey, the council's portfolio holder for resources, finance and performance, said reducing mileage would always be a challenge because Suffolk is a rural county.

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“We cannot say to our adult care team they cannot go out anywhere because we are trying to reduce the mileage.

“But there are things we can do like trying to promote teleconferencing instead of driving to meetings and trying to encourage people to car share where they can.”

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