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Taxpayers' anger at Suffolk Coastal's £15,000 "farewell party"

PUBLISHED: 11:30 20 February 2019 | UPDATED: 11:52 20 February 2019

Snape Maltings Picture: PHILIP JONES

Snape Maltings Picture: PHILIP JONES

Archant

News that Suffolk Coastal council taxpayers will be paying for a £15,000 "celebration" of the district's 45 years to mark its dissolution next month has not gone down well in the district.

Suffolk Coastal is formally merging with Waveney Council on April 1 – but before then, on March 15, it is hosting the event for 450 invited guests at Snape Maltings’ Hoffmann Centre.

Council leader Ray Herring said: “A budget of £15,000 has been set aside for to commemorate and recognise the considerable efforts of many people on behalf of the Suffolk Coastal community.”

However that has not gone down council taxpayers in the district who have taken to social media and the comments’ section of the newspaper to express their anger at the news.

Labour activist Jane Basham used Twitter to suggest the money should have been given to CABx in the area which are facing funding uncertainty because of county council cuts in future years.

Caroline Spurrier took to Facebook to say: “Really disgraceful. The councils are constantly complaining about cuts and this is how they spend what’s left.”

And Sylvia Hawes said: “This is quite unacceptable I thought the idea was to save money not waste it. There is no need for a party to celebrate. Its not goodbye, it’s meant to be a new beginning.”

Conservative councillor Chris Hudson, who has not been re-selected to fight his Framlingham seat in the first East Suffolk elections in May, sent a Twitter warning to his fellow councillors about how the event would be perceived by voters.

Meanwhile a comment under the name “News Addict” was left on our news page about the event: “We pay for green waste now, council tax going up; yet they have money for a shindig which is disgusting.”

However there was some support for the proposed party – Charlotte Bethel took to Facebook to say: “Not that I agree with all of it but it does only work out to be £33 per head. I’m sure lunch/dinner expenses total more than that. It does also say charities are invited giving them chance to raise money for their causes.”

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