The decision by Conservative controlled Cheshire West & Chester Council to fund a £10k trip for staff to an awards ceremony has been criticised by Labour councillors as ‘extravagant and wasteful’.

The event was held in an upmarket London hotel and hosted by the Municipal Journal.

CWaC council won an award for “excellence in democratic services” as well as receiving recognition for its Streetscene service and other CWaC teams.

Cllr Ben Powell, Labour resources spokesperson said: “We are pleased the council has won these awards and feel strongly the staff involved should be recognised for their hard work.

“However, spending this sum on such an expensive trip while the council is experiencing severe financial constraints beggars belief. From the council taxpayers’ point of view, it is extravagant and wasteful.”

Cllr Justin Madders, leader of the Labour Group said: “Which councillor sanctioned this? And how can they demonstrate this is the best use of public money?

“In straightened financial times there are very difficult choices to be made about the council’s spending. For example, I believe that the resources spent on this trip would have been better used on two years of rent-free storage facilities for the foodbank – a service that helps our poorest and most vulnerable residents.”