A marketing quango for the West Midlands spent almost £50,000 of public money hiring a private jet to fly to the Mipim property conference in Cannes.

The West Midlands Growth Company (WMGC) – which exists to support business in the region – spent £44,495 on chartering the aircraft for a flight from Birmingham to Nice in March 2019, according to a newly published contract.

A WMCG spokesman said they hired the plane because there were no direct passenger flights from Birmingham, meaning the delegation would have been forced to change in Paris, Brussels or Amsterdam or else take a “long drive to Luton or Heathrow”.

Wonder if we can get “long drive to Luton” to enter the language in the same way that “discussing Uganda” has?

7 thoughts on “Hmm”

  1. I think “Hello darling, fancy a long drive to Luton” lacks a certain something.

    [My spelling checker wants to correct Luton to futon, which might improve it.]

  2. A one hour forty minute drive. A taxi would cost £109 or National Express will get you there in two hours ten minutes for £18 one way.

  3. I used to be a regular attendee at MIPIM, although I’ve not been for at least five years. UK local authorities used to spend an absolute fortune – millions of taxpayers money- every year.

    Several regional cities used to hire yachts moored in the harbour for parties and schmoozing, I remember Manchester having some lush hospitality. Going back 20 years, Sunderland used to organise a massive free concert with a classic British band to suit the demographic; we had Squeeze one year for example.

    I suspect £50k would have been a drop in the ocean for WMGC’s overall MIPIM spending. Flights get expensive around MIPIM time, even if you book early, so depending on the number of people they sent, the charter cost might have even seemed reasonable.

  4. I’m shocked that taxpayers money would be spunked away on frivolous expensive trips. God knows why I think that government should be given the absolute minimum amount of money (to secure the borders etc) and not a penny extra. Why would someone consider whether it’s value for money when there is no chance of this ever coming back to bite them personally on the arse?

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