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Council jaunts to the US are nothing new

The news that Basil McCrea has proposed a trip to San Diego for 11 MLAs, plus two staff, has been met with public disapproval and scepticism (News, December 1).

Naturally, Mr McCrea is playing down allegations that this is a junket and he has been keen to extol the potential benefits that will flow from the project.

Maybe we will get benefits.

However, I can recall that, back in 2008, an all-party trip was made by 15 people - including 11 councillors - on behalf of Belfast City Council to Chicago to study "inner-city racial tensions".

At the time, the estimated cost was £30,000.

So that the taxpayer can get an idea of what sort of return we can expect from our 'investment', could someone who was on that Belfast City Council jaunt please let us know just what benefits the citizens of the city got for their money?

I think I'll probably be in for a long wait.

TOM GIRVAN

Belfast

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