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Council defends Cannes business trip

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Birmingham City Council has rejected claims it spent more than £200,000 on a trip to Cannes in an attempt to drum up business for the city.

The five-man business delegation of councillors travelled to the south of France for the annual real estate trade fair Mipim Expo at a cost of £80,000 for a stand at the event and a further £120,000 to hire space at the event.

In addition more than £6,000 was spent on overnight accommodation costs and more than £1,000 in travel costs.

The council has also confirmed that £3,075 was spent for an evening reception entertaining 18 guests.

The council has argued the bills were not met solely by the city council but shared between it and its partners.

A spokesman added: “Last year as a direct result of a trip to Mipim we did a deal with Amey that secured 500 jobs for the city.”

The Taxpayers’ Alliance had condemned the trip, saying it was more appropriate to use new technology like Skype or video conferencing to get the new contacts.

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