UKIP have called for Lichfield District Council’s entire civic budget to be scrapped.
The local authority’s bill for its civic functions is more than £50,000 per year.
The issue of the money has become a hot topic since discussion began over £16,000 due to be spent on a chauffeur-driven car for the council’s chairman.
But a spokesman for the UKIP branch in Lichfield and Burntwood has branded the costs “a waste of money”.
The party has also accused the Conservative councillor for Little Aston and Stonnall, Joseph Powell, of trying to shut down a public debate on the issue.
Cllr Powell defended the luxury Jaguar at a recent meeting by saying: “It’s important that we make it clear that the car isn’t used for just having drinks or nice meals.
“We use it for lots of very useful meetings with the council, such as visiting homosexual groups.”
But UKIP’s spokesman believes Cllr Powell was attempting to shame any opposition into silence.
“Cllr Powell has, in our opinion, deliberately tried to shut down a public debate about the £16,000 of taxpayers’ money that is spent on the chairman’s car.
“By using the word ‘homosexuals’ Cllr Powell has tried to silence anyone who dares to oppose the use of a taxpayer-funded car at a time of austerity.
“He seems to have given no thought as to what the people of Lichfield and Burntwood think about this issue. He needs to remember that this matter affects hard-working taxpayers across our district.
“Lichfield District Council has disregarded the elderly, unless of course you are an old-aged local politician who is in need of transport.”
But Cllr Powell hit back at UKIP’s accusations – and he rejected their call for the civic budget to be scrapped.
He said: “I made those comments merely because I wanted to publicise what the council does and to tackle the negative public perception of the chairman’s car and civic budget.
“We support homosexual groups, but we have also been to the National Memorial Arboretum and we’ve been to Toyota’s factory in Derby etc in order to promote the city of Lichfield.
“It’s utter rubbish to suggest the civic budget is just about food and drink or the chairman flashing their chain.
“Lichfield as a city has one of the biggest district councils in the country and the civic budget actually does a lot of good. The budget may be £50,000, but it’s a rarity that we actually spend that much during the financial year.
“I would encourage UKIP to actually attend one of our meetings. If they had bothered to read the minutes from the last meeting they would know we’ve formed a sub-committee to look at the whole issue. I won’t be making any further comment until the committee has reached its conclusions.”