The UKIP group on Cambridgeshire County Council has attacked the council’s plans for events to celebrate the Tour de France as a waste of money.
UKIP councillors say that funding community events to celebrate the race’s arrival cannot be justified while services are being axed, according to Cambridge News.
The council is offering grants for activities that “involve and motivate people to create a lasting and positive legacy”, but council bosses say the money comes from currently unallocated funds, and no extra money will be spent.
Councillor Paul Bullen, leader of the UKIP group on the council said: “I have serious concerns that some of the officers at the county council have been given delegated authority to spend money on a scheme like this which is not part of our statutory provision.
“This money could be spent on the frontline, doing what we have to do like looking after the old and vulnerable and young, not on some project we shouldn’t be contributing to at all.”
His colleague Cllr Peter Reeve said the council should not be “throwing money into having a party” when the Cromwell Museum in Huntingdon faced closure in a bid to save £20,000.
A county council spokesman said: “When Welcome to Yorkshire asked Cambridge to become part of their bid to host the third stage of the Grand Depart 2014, both Cambridge City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council made it clear we were happy to support the event but would not be making a financial contribution to the costs of it.
“This is the commitment we have made to our local taxpayers. We have always been open and clear with everyone involved in the event that this is our position.
“The cycle legacy small grant fund is to support activities or events linked to and inspired by cycling or Le Tour. The £20,000 fund comes from existing county budgets which are available to help local communities and uses monies from budgets that are currently unallocated – it is not additional funding for delivering the Tour.”
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.