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West Sussex Tories waste £1m on PR including now You-Tube films of themselves while residents suffer savage cuts to essential services

by derekdeedman on 1 March, 2012

The West Sussex County Tory administration has been slammed today by the Liberal Democrats for their extravagant communications budget, and making their own You-Tube film clips. 

Dr James Walsh, deputy group leader of the County Council Liberal Democrats said:  “At a time of savage cuts to personal care services for vulnerable elderly and young people, it is astonishing that the County Council can find £1million to fund its PR department, Glossy ‘lifestyle’ Connections newspaper, and now even a new You-tube film unit!  

“The You- tube film unit cost £40,000 to set up, and will then cost £26,000 per year to run. So far its clips, all promoting or extolling county services and personal interviews with Tory Cabinet Members as well as promoting the “Big Society” have been seen by a maximum of 200 viewers, out of a population of 750,000. That doesn’t seem like good value to me! 

“It is also a kick in the teeth for all those elderly and younger adults who have had their care packages reduced or stopped, in the name of saving cash for the county.  

“Can the Tory leadership really believe that a You-tube film unit is a higher priority than providing care packages for the frail elderly or residents with a learning disability? 

“We have questioned the whole PR budget, including a “communications director”, and the cost of the county newspaper for years, but this new luxury enterprise seems yet another step too far, and demonstrating how far the Tory County Council is divorced from reality.”

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