Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 9°C

ESTD 1874 Search

WIN A NEW HYUNDAI i10 - See the EADT on June 8 for full details

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.

shares

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.”

shares

0 comments

Essex Police last year searched the area near Scarfe Way in the investigation into the murder of Nahid Almanea.

The teenager from Colchester, initially arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon in the Salary Brook Trail on Tuesday was charged this evening.

Travellers on St Andrew's long stay car park, Bury St Edmunds.

The group of travellers have been told to leave by St Edmundsbury Borough Council or be taken to High Court.

Abellio Greater Anglia train.

The Greater Anglia services are being replaced by buses.

A large hole has appeared in the ground at the back of Holland and Barrett and Parkyns in Stowmarket.

Mystery surrounds the appearance of a six foot hole behind a shop in Stowmarket.

Sizewell A and B

A study is to be carried out around the Sizewell nuclear power stations site to investigate whether people eating food produced in the area or spending time there are vulnerable to radioactivity.

Thomson Airways' new Boeing 787 Dreamliner touching down at Stansted.

Stansted Airport today marked the arrival of the latest in airline technology with the launch of a new long-haul service from the Essex terminal.

Heavy farme equipment is load on to a low loader during the Suffolk Show clear up at Trinity Park

How do you follow-up the most successful Suffolk Show for years? With an epic Suffolk Show clean-up operation.

East House on George Street in Hadleigh.

A public inquiry is opening today in Hadleigh to decide the future of a popular park.

Police were at the scene

The incident happened just before 5pm near the Railway Bridge and drivers can expect delays in the area.

Police were at the scene

The incidents happened at around 2pm and drivers can expect delays while efforts to clear the oil spill are made.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages