URBAN Council chairman Dr Ronald Leung Ding-bong is not a happy man. He claims 'one-sided' press coverage of Urbco's latest study trip, this time to America, has tarnished his image by portraying him as a big-spender - and Dr Leung will not even be participating in the $1 million tour of such 'educational' sites as Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. But despite Dr Leung's uncharacteristic absence, the trip - complete with visits to film archives - is still scheduled to go ahead with a full complement of 13 councillors. If the controversy sounds familiar, this is because it is only six months since Urbco was last in trouble over its junkets. It emerged then that Dr Leung had made more trips at taxpayers' expense than any other local politician, although he insisted this was only due to his 'good social skills'. The Legislative Council keeps such a tight grip on costs that its members sometimes fly economy class - something no confirmed business class Urbco member would ever consider doing. Rows over their municipal counterparts' multi-million-dollar passion for foreign travel have become a depressingly familiar feature of the political landscape, and one which only hurts Urbco's image. Yesterday's publication of new guidelines for Urbco trips will do little to change this, especially since they say nothing about controlling costs. Instead the Council is more concerned that its members can upgrade their hotel rooms. If Dr Leung really wants to avoid bad publicity then he should limit all future trips to two or three councillors, rather than the ridiculous ceiling of 13 set by these guidelines, and ensure a better case is made for why such visits are necessary.