A group of Croydon delegates are jetting off on a four-day trip to the French Riviera costing taxpayers £165,000.

Members of Croydon Economic Development Company (CEDC) will run the borough’s annual stand at a developers conference in Cannes.

Croydon Council, which was forced to take control of the CEDC last November to cover the company’s financial difficulties, decided to fund the trip despite the ongoing recession.

Croydon Labour leader Tony Newman called for the trip to be scrapped.

He said: “The idea of £160,000 of council taxpayers’ money being spent, after the tough financial times people are coming through, on a trip to the French Riviera by council officials is a disgrace.

“It’s a junket on the taxpayers and people don’t want to see highly-paid council officials swanning around the French Riviera.”

A CEDC spokesman said the delegates would travel on £25 Easyjet flights.

But he was unable to reveal how much investment the borough received following last year’s trip, which was attended by Croydon Business staff.

He said: “As we emerge from recession, large international shop-windows such as Mipim become even more important for places like Croydon.

“For Croydon’s offer to not be represented at this critical time would potentially be a huge mistake for the future of everyone who lives and works in the area.”

The trip is using £160,000 of Government funding and another £5,000 to pay travel and expenses for council planning, regeneration and conservation officers.

A spokeswoman for Croydon Council said the trip was a legitimate use of funding as “inward investment”, describing it as “a particularly important aspect of the borough’s economic recovery plan”.