It’s no square meal - claim

“WE don’t get a square meal!”

That was the claim from county council vice-chairman Eddy Alcock following yesterday’s revelation that lunch for councillors had been reintroduced at Endeavour House.

Mr Alcock said the picture used to depict a council lunch misrepresented the fayre on offer to members as they listened to briefings by chief executive Andrea Hill and other senior officers.

He said: “The picture on the front page depicts nothing that resembles anything I am offered prior to full Council.

“The only place I’ve seen square plates as in your picture is on the sales shelves in MAKRO. All I ever see prior to Council is a room, empty, except for tables with plates of sandwiches and personal plates the size of tea plates; not even any chairs, let alone Steak & Kidney Pie or Shepherds Pie!

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“To describe what is put before us as lunch would offend the ‘Trades Description Act;’ the best you could call it would be ‘buffet refreshments,’ and you certainly need a square meal (pardon the pun!) later in the day.”

Other councillors, though, have said they enjoyed the kebabs and warm quiche that is on offer – although one senior Tory told me: “I’d heard about the shepherd’s pie but I have to go to the restaurant for that. I’m not that keen on the kebabs!”

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They now fear less will be on offer following our story.

Labour group leader Sandy Martin added to his comments: “ I do not boycott the briefings by Andrea Hill or by other senior directors, it would be silly to do so, and I think I need something to eat in the middle of the day.

“Food provided as part of a “working lunch” is not free, it is part of the package.

“I do not feel it would be reasonable to charge people for a buffet which they would not ordinarily have chosen to eat.

“I do think the amount of the food could probably be reduced, but I really don’t think you can blame Jeremy Pembroke for that – it is always difficult to get these things right, but no doubt at future meetings the buffet lunches will be rather less lavish.”

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