By Paul Healey
A row erupted last week at county hall over the decision by the West Sussex County Council to devote £1million to public relations funds, including £40,000 for a You Tube website which would cost £26,000 a year to run.
Lib Dem members of the council attacked the 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: “So far its clips, all promoting or extolling county services and personal interviews with Tory cabinet members as well as promoting the ‘Big Society’, had been seen by a maximum of 200 viewers, out of a population of 750,000.
“That doesn’t seem like good value to me. At a time of savage cuts to personal care services for vulnerable elderly and young people, it is astonishing.”
But county council leader Cllr Louise Goldsmith condemned the Lib Dems’ comments as ‘scurrilous’ and ‘littered with inaccuracies’.
Cllr Goldsmith said it was important to keep residents informed – particularly at a time when the council faced the challenge of finding £79m.