DUDLEY Council has been accused of getting car-ried away with its spending on executive motors.

According to a survey by Intelligent Car Leasing the authority is in the top five worst offenders among Britain’s big councils for splashing the cash on posh cars.

The company bases its claims on Freedom of Information figures from Britain’s 50 biggest councils, which were asked to reveal the five most valuable unique models under their ownership or management.

The company says the figures show Dudley spends an average of £49,078 on its most expensive cars, compared to a national average of £27,000.

Pete McAllister, who conducted the study for the company, said: “It’s disturbing to discover that this level of excessive spending is going on during such tough times for Britain. With Westminster demanding cuts across the board this lavish expenditure cannot be justified.”

The survey, which was carried out in November and December last year, found Cheshire West’s average car value is the highest, at £53,669, while Hillingdon is the most miserly, spending an average of just £10,527.

However Dudley’s finance chief rejects the survey, which he believes may be looking to grab headlines cheaply.

Councillor Pete Lowe, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for finance, said: “The survey is essentially comparing apples with pears as we provided figures for our two civic cars, which are the only ones we own. Had we also given figures for a further three lower-cost cars, this would have reduced our average.

“In addition, we are currently reviewing our mayoral cars as we look at every option at our disposal to ensure best value-for-money as we manage the significant cuts that are being imposed on us by central government.

“Dudley Council is a low-cost, high performing authority which charges some of the lowest council tax rates in the country and the lowest in the West Midlands.

“Whilst surveys like this may look to make sensational headlines they must be treated with caution as the figures in this case are misleading.”