Council bosses have defended a staff survey that cost more than £100,000 after being accused of wasting taxpayers’ money.

Staff working for Enfield Council took part in a survey in 2017 to find out their views on the organisation’s culture.

It was commissioned by the council’s new chief executive, Ian Davis, shortly after he was appointed.

Employees were asked what they thought the authority’s ideal culture should be and how they viewed the current culture, with more than half responding to the survey.

After recently discovering the exercise came with a £101,000 price tag, Conservative leader Cllr Joanne Laban (Highlands) accused the council of wasting money, which she claimed could have been better spent on services for residents.

Cllr Laban said: “This is another example of the Labour administration wasting taxpayers’ money. The money spent on this survey could have been spent on keeping school crossing patrols or other services.

“The council likes to plead poverty, but the reality is that it is not helped by the choices it makes.”

But council bosses defended the survey, saying it led to the roll-out of new training programmes for staff – ensuring residents benefited from better services.

A council spokesperson said: “Our staff told us the values they believed our organisation should reflect and champion during an extensive consultation process, and we listened to what they had to say and acted on their feedback.

“It has resulted in the introduction of a wide range of measures including training programmes for officers in children’s services, the Women in Leadership Programme and the establishment of black and minority ethnic and LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] Plus staff groups.

“We have also introduced a disability working group recently. These schemes supplement and enhance the ongoing training that we provide frontline staff to ensure they have the skills and knowledge they need to deliver the services our residents deserve.”

The spokesperson said maintaining a “supportive and nurturing working environment” helped to “attract and retain high-quality staff in a highly competitive and challenging job market”.

They also pointed out the survey took place under the previous political administration.

The dispute comes shortly after the Conservative leader criticised a decision to hold a staff awards ceremony marking 25 years of service at “upmarket” West Lodge Park Hotel in Hertfordshire.

Cllr Laban claimed the ceremony could have been held in a council-owned building at a lower cost to the taxpayer.

But the council said it was important to recognise the contribution made by long-serving members of staff and ensure it had a “happy, motivated and settled workforce”.