West Sussex County Council under fire for £1m PR spend

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A COUNCIL’S decision to spend £1m on its public relations – including a YouTube channel – has been branded a waste of taxpayers’ money.

The Lib Dem opposition have attacked the Tory-run West Sussex County Council for its ‘extravagant’ communications budget when residents are facing cuts to public services.

Cllr James Walsh, deputy leader of the Lib Dem group, said: ‘At a time of savage cuts to personal care services for vulnerable elderly and young people, it is astonishing the county council can find £1m to fund its PR department, glossy lifestyle Connections newspaper, and now even a new YouTube film unit.’

Cllr Walsh said the YouTube film unit cost £40,000 to set up, and would then cost £26,000 a year to run. But county council leader Cllr Louise Goldsmith condemned the Lib Dems’ comments as ‘scurrilous’.

She said YouTube film clips were a good way of keeping residents informed and that 100,000 viewings had been received across at least three video sites, including its own.