Labour slammed for £35,000 cost of boundary change advice

OPPOSITION councillors on Hull Council have criticised Labour for spending £35,000 on a “critical friend” to advise on controversial boundary changes.

The money will be used to pay the Institute of Local Government Studies at the University of Birmingham to carry out research to back up a case to expand Hull’s boundaries. But Liberal Democrat councillor Claire Thomas said Labour needed to “get real”.

It comes after The Yorkshire Post revealed that thousands of people may have to pay to park outside their homes for the first time as the cash-strapped council considers introducing charges for people living near the KC Stadium. When the stadium was built people were given free passes. Others already paying £7.50 for an annual pass could see the charge rise to £33, a 400 per cent hike.

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Coun Thomas said: “Labour councillors have to get real and start spending money on services that residents need. It is shocking that when Labour are talking about increasing the cost of a parking permit by 400 per cent they are spending £35,000 on consultants.

“Labour councillors have their priorities all wrong. In the last couple of years they have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on consultants to advise on job cuts, then they prioritised spending £386,000 to buy Pacific Exchange and now they are blowing £35,000 on buying in a ‘critical friend’.”

But former council leader Colin Inglis, who was behind plans for the recently launched commission of inquiry which will consider expanding the city’s boundaries, said Coun Thomas was publicity-seeking for her “parliamentary ambitions, which will clearly fail”.