A DECISION by Cheshire West and Chester Council to sign up to an independent Westminster-based think tank has been questioned.
Labour resources spokesman Cllr Justin Madders (Central and Westminster) asked resources portfolio holder Cllr Les Ford (Con, Frodsham and Helsby) why the council was spending £10,000 with the organisation, which he described as "a Tory think tank”.
In a written reply, Cllr Ford pointed out the organisation specialised in issues relating to local government and ‘localism’.
The think tank carried out research in local public services and had a network of public service based members.
Cllr Ford revealed that in consultation with chief executive Steve Robinson and Council leader Cllr Mike Jones (Con, Broxton), the authority had taken out a three year membership costing £11,000 a year after a 25% discount on the annual fee.
"For this membership, the council enjoys a number of benefits," Cllr Ford said.
A detailed report had been commissioned looking at best practice within the council's policy development boards suggesting new directions in which they could be developed.
This had been circulated to all councillors with a summary going to all senior managers in the council.