A STAFF day trip to Marwell Zoo has been slated by a disgruntled ex-civil servant.

The man, who does not wish to be named, was outraged to learn of the outing after being made redundant due to austerity cuts.

The trip, which was organised for about 50 human resources staff based at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Porton Down, has been defended by bosses.

They said the staff were at the zoo attending a planning conference.

The former civil servant, however, is questioning whether a trip to the zoo was a good use of public money at a time of economic austerity.

He said: “I spent well over 30 years in public service providing frontline services to the elderly and vulnerable.

But because of austerity cuts to the really committed team I managed, our jobs were all chopped last year and we were made redundant.

“It is upsetting to hear that a DSTL HR team day took place and those involved were free to go round the zoo in the afternoon.

“Some of them even took their children and all in work time and at taxpayers’ expense.

“It makes me so angry.

“I’d like to ask the HR boss at Porton Down, who I guess is paid megabucks, to explain why this happened.”

An official spokesman for |the DSTL confirmed the visit took place and that the reason was to discuss business planning.

She said: “Employees from the HR team at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory recently took part in a |business planning session which was held off-site in the conferencing facilities at Marwell Zoo.”

The zoo promotes its conference centre by saying it promises to keep delegates ‘buzzing’.