Council chiefs under fire over wine bill
AN OVERHAUL of spending rules has been called for after it emerged taxpayers in west Suffolk were footing the bill for councillors to quaff wine after meetings.
Receptions are held for councillors and officers after each full meeting of Forest Heath District Council.
The wine is funded from a special budget set aside by the council for the chairman, who hosts the post-meeting receptions.
There are five meetings of the full council each year and about 10 bottles of wine are purchased for each meeting.
The council has now been urged to scrap the practice amid concerns it sends out the wrong message to the public, especially at a time when all departments of central and local government are being urged to save cash and show prudence.
You may also want to watch:
Independent councillor Pat McCloud said he had never been along to one of the post-meeting receptions.
He said: “It is not on. If they want wine I think they should pay for their own wine.
- 1 Town's Harper move held up by West Brom uncertainty
- 2 A12 underpass closed after car stuck in water
- 3 Ipswich Town transfer rumour: Blues 'in £100,000 tug-of-war' for non-league midfielder
- 4 ‘Exceptional’ country estate with its own airfield hits the market
- 5 Person with leg injury after 4-vehicle crash on A140
- 6 Town announce home friendly with Premier League club
- 7 Pupils forced to isolate after Covid test result wrongly recorded as positive
- 8 Another former Town player completes Colchester move
- 9 Village in uproar as primary school attempts to change historic logo
- 10 Traffic at standstill on A12 between Ipswich and Colchester
“I don’t think Joe Public realises what he is paying for.”
He said he could understand the provision of water during meetings but not wine after them.
Current council chairman John McGhee said the actual amount spent on wine was small. He said he aimed to buy bottles for about �3, which means the annual bill would only be about �150.
“I shall continue to invite our own people as it has been going on for all the 11 years I’ve been on the council.
“I’ve usually been the barman for the other chairmen and I shall be continuing that side of it.”
He said the chairman’s receptions were often an important occasion for the authority because it gave councillors and officers a chance to meet and talk after meetings.
“It is something that has carried on and carried on and it is from my allowance .”