Taxpayers to foot bill for councillors’ drugs course

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Doncaster Council has come under fire for organising drug intervention courses for elected members.

The sessions are being put in place because the authority – like other councils across the UK - has taken over responsibility for commissioning drug and alcohol misuse services from the NHS.

One councillor feels the plan is not a good idea.

Coun Martin Williams told the Free Press: “It’s a daft idea. We’re councillors, not social workers.

“It does seem like a daft idea – there are much better things I could be learning as a councillor.”

The courses are voluntary and take place on October 1 and 3.

The sessions cost £17.50 plus VAT per elected member – should all 63 of the borough’s councillors sign up the bill would top £1300. The cost is being met from the council’s public health grant for substance misuse services.

Coun Williams added: “I can think of many better ways to spend this money.

Councillor Pat Knight, Doncaster’s cabinet member for health and adult social care, said: “The training is based on training that is delivered across Doncaster. “The training will give elected members a better understanding of issues being raised in their communities and help them respond to the needs of people more quickly.”