This comes under the category 'you couldn't make it up'. Leeds Tory councillor Alan Lamb, Shadow Executive member for Children’s Services, has discovered that the new Labour/Green administration in Leeds is planning to spend nearly £10,000 on ‘learning days’ for councillors throughout 20010/11.
The learning days will involve councillors gaining free access to a host of questionable activities such as hand and shoulder massages, advice about managing stress, a session on how councillors can learn to tweet and also further advice sessions on how to take up exercise classes and manage blood pressure.
Lamb said: “Given the financial difficulties being faced by families living both in Leeds and nationally I was utterly stunned when I saw that the new administration planned to waste nearly £10,000 to run 4 of these so called councillor’s learning days throughout 2010/11. There is nothing wrong with councillors receiving relevant training to perform their role but getting free massages and guidance on how to manage your blood pressure is simply unacceptable – I know that my blood pressure rose when I saw this scheme and could hardly believe it when I saw that the new Executive Member for Learning, Cllr Jane Dowson, had signed a letter encouraging councillors to attend the event.
Quite unbelievable. Yet another example of ridiculous expenditure in local government.
No doubt readers have further examples.