A COUNCIL pension fund will continue to invest in tobacco even after calls to put money in more ethical products.
Kirklees Council's pensions are controlled by the West Yorkshire Pension Fund.
Yesterday at the full council meeting Green councillor Andrew Cooper demanded any money invested in tobacco was moved.
He said money should be invested elsewhere and protested about the alleged working practices of British American Tobacco.
He said: "Here is a quote from the 2004 Report and Accounts of the West Yorkshire Pension Fund: `If it is shown that particular types of social, environmental and ethical investment can produce at least comparable returns the fund will invest in such companies'.
"The big question is can the fund disinvest in tobacco without harming its own financial health or jeopardising our pensions? It can.
"Other major financial players already refuse to invest in tobacco. The West Yorkshire Pension Fund can do the same.
"The fund is worth about £5.2bn with half of that in equities. Tobacco therefore represents only 1% of the total value of the fund.
"It is true that tobacco equities have performed extremely well in recent years. But there are other investment options that would yield comparable returns.
His pleas fell on deaf ears. Councillors voted to pass an amendment tabled by the Conservatives which stated the primary objective should be to maximise profits and if possible put money in social responsible equities.
After the decision, Clr Cooper said: "I find it very disappointing my fellow councillors seem more interested in money than people's well-being."