OPPOSITION councillors have questioned the spending over a new green development strategy for Winchester.

The city council is drawing up a 10-year plan as it moves to becoming a carbon neutral district by 2030.

Cllr Hugh Lumby, Conservative, questioned the spending of £45,000 for a consultant for just five weeks work.

“Why not employ someone full time and for longer?” he said.

Cllr Frank Pearson agreed: “Why aren’t we employing an expert within the council to work with the council team to do this work?”

He pointed out that once the strategy was written an action plan still needed to be produced.

Cllr Paula Ferguson, portfolio holder for local economy, said the £45,000 was for more than five weeks work but would cover three months research as well.