Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 13°C

ESTD 1874 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

Pc Andy Masterson checks motorists speeds on the A140 at Stonham Parva.

Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner has said he is ‘sick of arrogant drivers’ after the number of motorists clocked travelling at 100mph-plus trebled in a year.

Clangers founder and conductor Sue Pollington with Eleni Sargeant, 13, the youngest Clanger and the oldest hand bell ringer Muriel Ricks

When a group of handbell ringers got together seven years ago, naming themselves after the whistling hand-knitted 1970s TV characters The Clangers seemed a perfect choice.

Pigs Gone Wild Project Manager Norman Lloyd and Head of Property for the East of England Cooperative Stuart McDonald try to round up the pigs escaping the warehouse.

If you go down to Ipswich tomorrow, you are sure of a big surprise.

Keith Senior is pictured at Jacobs Allen in Bury St Edmunds

Concerns have been raised about how Thursday’s decision to quit the EU will affect mortgage rates and foreign travel.

Ben Gummer

All of Suffolk’s MPs had backed the campaign to keep Britain in the European Union – and were left shattered by the decision to pull out.

John Dugmore

Campaigners from the business community on both sides of the EU membership debate were agreed yesterday on the need for the Government to make stability its top priority in the wake of the vote for Brexit.

Aldeburgh beach

Global superstar Taylor Swift has been spotted strolling the streets of a Suffolk seaside town, after she flew into the country to meet her rumoured new love interest’s mother.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24