Leicestershire County Council criticised for new Jaguar

A union has criticised Leicestershire County Council for leasing a new Jaguar despite needing to make cuts to make £94m in savings.

The council is leasing the diesel Jaguar for £13,000 a year to transport the chairman to civic events.

Josie Nicholls, from Unison, said it was disgraceful at a time when the council was having to make job cuts.

Nick Rushton, deputy leader of the council, said it was essential to have a prestigious car for civic events.

The Conservative-run council said it was possible that 650 posts will be affected by its savings drive.

Ms Nicholls said: "It's arrogance. It's saying 'we're more important' than home carers who are looking after vulnerable people or teaching assistants, who are low-paid and don't need a 'Jag' to do their work.

"In this period, it's wrong having vehicles such as this when people are losing their jobs."

Mr Rushton said the car replaced a petrol Jaguar and would save £11,000 a year on fuel.

He said: "We've always had a car for civic and official engagements.

"A diesel Jaguar is not meant to be super posh. We do need a civic car for the head of the civic services for the county council.

"I'm proud that the head of our civic duties is conveyed around in a car that carries prestige."

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