Some £3,200 was spent by Teignbridge Council on an official video of the Olympic Flame arriving in Shaldon and Teignmouth – even though the council has its own professional video production department, we’ve been told.
The spending, ordered by the council’s Conservative leader, Jeremy Christophers, comes at a time when the council is making cutbacks and faces tough spending decisions next year with changes in the way funding comes from Government.
Challenged about the spending when the in-year budget was reviewed earlier this month, the Council Leader told councillors he was aware of the cost when the video was ordered and that he was very happy that the video was made.
Cllr Alan Connett, Lib Dem opposition leader on Teignbridge, challenged the spending, which was revealed in the budget update report considered by the council’s Executive Committee.
“Was there any need to spend £3,000 on this video when the council has a member of staff who produces videos and a fully equipped video production department,” said Cllr Connett.
“I am sure this could have been done for much less if the council had used its own video production service. What does it say when, for the big events, the Conservatives commission a video from an independent service.”
Further enquiries by Cllr Connett have revealed that Teignbridge’s in-house video service ‘wasn’t available’ for the Olympic Torch event which resulted in the spending of £3,200 on the commercially produced video.
“Given we’ve had more than five years notice about the Olympics coming to Britain and ample time regarding the Olympic Torch arrangements it is rather surprising Teignbridge didn’t manage to organise itself to film the event and save £3,000. I’m sure many people will question whether this was the best use of scarce tax payers’ money.”