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Free Dinners are on the Agenda

February 7, 2010 10:25 AM
Town Hall - Epsom

Councillors should be paying for their meals at civic functions

Liberal Democrat councillors have tabled a Motion to the next meeting of the whole council on 16th February demanding that councillors pay for their meals at civic functions.

Lib Dem councillors have paid for the cost of their meals for some years : their contributions have either been credited directly to the budget concerned, or been donated to charity. With a civic reception in the council diary for March, if all councillors and their partners attended, the cost to the taxpayer would be just under £2000, since the cost of the meal is usually £20-£25 per head. The Mayormaking which takes place in May is also followed by a dinner to which all councillors and their partners are invited, free of charge.

Cllr Jonathan Lees commented "With the kinds of economies being discussed at the moment, how can it be right for taxpayers to pay for councillors and their partners at these two events to the tune of nearly £4,000 every year? Sometimes there are other civic "do's" as well. Sometimes not all councillors go to these but if they did, that would be the net cost."

The Lib Dems want the cost of these meals to be agreed by the council, paid for by councillors and the costs published annually.