How do you plan cuts? With an overnight trip to a luxury hotel of course

Labour-run Brent Council has hit the local and regional news for its decision to pay for 27 senior staff and Labour councillors to spend the weekend at a luxury country hotel – where they planned budget cuts.

Brent Town Hall. Photo credit: stevecadman on FlickrThe council is quite right that it is good management practice for senior teams every now and again to spend time together making longer term plans. Going to Latimer Place De Vere Hotel in Chesham, Buckinghamshire isn’t exactly the only way to do it though.

Councillor Paul Lorber, Brent Liberal Democrat opposition leader, told the local papers: “It is morally outrageous that the first decision that Labour have made regarding their budget is to spend days away at an expensive hotel in order to set it. This action completely undermines Labour’s credibility and their complaints about Government cuts.”

And Labour-run Brent Council’s planned sequel to all this? A return weekend trip in October.

More information and a petition are on the Brent Liberal Democrats website. You can see the venue in the ITV News report.

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  • Well, that sensible comment does a fine job of showing what Labour activists think is the appropriate response to a story like this. No chance of a “yes, this is irresponsible but hopefully it’s not to late to cancel the booking and move to a cheaper hotel to save money”. No, instead more Labour ranting, huffing and puffing.

  • I think the vast majority of Labour members and supporters will be horrified by this. Overtime is being cut, lighting is being dimmed, staff are going to be charged to use the town hall carpark. That is the reality of municipal life in Britain this summer. For cabinet members and senior officers to go off on a junket defies belief. Their hubris takes one’s breath away.

  • Agree on dimming street lighting.

  • Paul McKeown 25th Aug '10 - 12:49am

    @Still Red Rag

    It would appear that the “bare faced chancers shooting blunderbusses in glasshouses” is you and your mates, the Red Tories, lounging around in posh hotels, paid for by the larger part, by poor people in the rest of the country.

    Huff and puff, would seem to seem to be Labour’s response. Huff, guff and puff. “I’ll stick my fingers in my ear and shriek, if you say I did anything wrong.” How long do you think you and your lot can carry this act on, before no one is prepared to listen any more?


  • I’m afraid this entire story is misinformed. The trip isn’t being paid for out of council funds, but out of those of the local labour party.

  • @Mark Pack
    My father is a member of the local labour party (we don’t live together) and he’s told me that the party thinks it is putting money towards this.

  • Nathan,

    Are you alleging that senior officers in Brent are accepting hospitality from the Labour Party?

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