A fire brigade has been slammed for buying a £24,000 sports car from a newly appointed chief – then giving it back to him as a company car.
Bedfordshire and Luton Fire and Rescue Service bought the BMW 325D Sports Auto from Glen Ranger for £24,375 when he was appointed as Deputy Chief Fire Officer.
Deputy Chief Ranger previously received an allowance for mileage and wear and tear from Warwickshire Fire Service and was the owner of the vehicle.
The car, which was new in May 2009, was purchased by Bedforshire and Luton brigade when Deputy Chief Ranger took up the £111,000-a-year position in June.
The purchase of the vehicle came to light from information obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.
Fiona McEvoy, spokeswoman for the TaxPayers’ Alliance, slammed the fire service’s ”cavalier” attitude to spending.
She said: ”The whole situation is a total nonsense. Taxpayers shouldn’t be shelling out thousands for sports cars, particularly in the current financial climate.
”If Mr Ranger has been using his private vehicle at his own cost then he should continue to do so.
”This is a totally cavalier use of public money, and practices like this have to stop if our services are to make much-needed savings.”
However, a Bedfordshire and Luton Fire and Rescue service spokesman claimed that the purchase of the vehicle had saved money.
He said: ”It was cheaper to buy Mr Ranger’s personal vehicle for his use as part of Bedfordshire and Luton Fire & Rescue Service – in line with our policy on pool cars – than to buy him a brand new car on his appointment and fit it with the required blue light systems.”
A spokeswoman for Warwickshire County Council said: ”Glen Ranger was the Deputy Chief Fire Officer for Warwickshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service.
”His vehicle was privately owned and he was part of the council’s Essential Car User Scheme in accordance with the Travel Code of Conduct.
”The annual allowance for this scheme is £1,170.”