A NEW member of the Greater Brighton Economic Board has questioned whether his council is getting value for money.

Crawley Borough Council and Gatwick Airport Ltd were admitted to the board earlier this year.

They are being asked to contribute £30,000 between them to its £300,000 operating budget for the year ahead.

Councillor Peter Lamb, the Labour leader of Crawley Borough Council, asked his colleagues at Hove Town Hall yesterday why this charge was being levied.

He said the expansion of the board did not require extra expenditure and pointed out it underspent last year by £120,000.

He said: “Surely the way to draw up a budget is to work out what needs doing and work backwards from there?

“We’re being used as a source of funding, for what reason, I fail to see.”

He asked why costs were “magically” £30,000 higher for the year ahead and said the budget should remain unchanged with Gatwick and Crawley’s contributions reducing costs to the rest.

Board chairman Andy Smith said: “To be part of this club you’ll be asked to make a small contribution.”

He said by working together the board had a better chance of attracting funding.