Cornwall Council wasted £50,000 of taxpayers' money backing the bid to bring the World Cup to Plymouth, it has been revealed. The decision to spend the money was taken by Council Leader Alec Robertson and was not subject to scrutiny. It was revealed after a freedom of information request by the West Briton.
I'm horrified that anyone could have thought that spending such a large amount of money on this project was worthwhile. Of course it would have been good to have the World Cup in England and to have some matches played in Plymouth. But, even if the bid had been successful (we only got two votes) such spending could not have been justified.
At the time when the decision was made, we already knew that Cornwall was facing huge cuts. We are cutting a total of £170 million and losing around 2,000 staff. Among the cuts are a 40% slashing of the budget for supporting people who are homeless or vulnerably housed, a £4 million cut in the adult care budget and the loss of more than 90 hours per week in our library service.
Even within the leisure service there are huge cuts. The future of Camelford Leisure Centre and Bude Sea Pool remain uncertain in spite of funding being extended for an additional year in response to uproar in the local areas at the original plans.
Any of these frontline services would have been a far better use of the money than throwing £50,000 at a campaign that had little chance of success.
For all that the Conservative led Council bang on about the need to tighten our belts and for everyone to make sacrifices, it seems that there is no limit to the fripparies on which they are prepared to waste our money.