Cuts-hit Sandwell Council to spend £50k on cars

A cash-strapped council is set to spend more than £50,000 on new cars despite slashing jobs and budgets across the authority.

A cash-strapped council is set to spend more than £50,000 on new cars despite slashing jobs and budgets across the authority.

Seven new cars have been added to Sandwell Council's pool of vehicles each costing £7,500.

Bosses have defended the decision to invest the cash, saying it will save money in the long run as it will avoid having to pay staff mileage costs. In total the cars cost £52,500, but it comes after the authority said it planned to spend £500,000 on a fleet of electric cars and charging points.

And it follows a decision to cut mileage claims for staff from 65p to 45p in a bid to save £1 million a year, a decision which caused uproar among workers.

Some are now threatening to walk out over the plans, which they described as "effectively a wage cut".

The council said by increasing its pool, currently 43 vehicles, it will save money and prevent wear and tear on workers' own cars.

[24link]