Row ensues over the dinner table

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Newtownabbey councillors had a row over a dinner table recently, with one member claiming that tickets bought by the council for events were not being used.

At the July 29 council meeting councillors were invited to a corporate dinner to mark the final of the Milk Cup youth football competition in Coleraine.

Councillor Robert Hill proposed the council purchase a table for 10 at a cost of £585 to the ratepayer saying it would be “worthwhile” to support the event.

However, Alderman John Blair queried if the expenditure would be used.

He said: “The Milk Cup is a fabulous competition and one that I have absolutely no problem with supporting.

“However, there have been occasions when this council has bought a table of 10 and no one has gone.

“I would suggest that the Newtownabbey ratepayer would more like to see those councillors with an interest in supporting the Milk Cup actually pay for themselves to attend.”

It was proposed by Alderman Blair’s Alliance colleague Billy Webb that the council fund tickets for six places, however, the proposal was defeated and the council purchased a table for 10.

The dinner was held last Friday, August 2. It is not known how many of the seats were filled.