Council spends £14k on food for meetings

Mossley Mill.
Mossley Mill.

Almost £14,000 of ratepayers’ money was spent providing catering for elected members and staff at council meetings in the borough last year.

The figures were revealed in response to a query from the Times regarding the refreshment budget for full council, committee and special meetings at Mossley Mill and Antrim Civic Centre.

It is understood a hot buffet is prepared ahead of all monthly meetings and Community Planning and Regeneration Committee meetings.

Refreshments, including tea, coffee and biscuits are available at Planning Committee meetings, Operations Committee meetings and Policy and Governance Committee meetings.

Detailing the arrangements for catering at council meetings, a spokesperson for the local authority said: “Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council hold all council and committee meetings at 6.30pm and party meetings take place at approximately 5.30pm.

“Many elected members work on a full-time basis and the working day can be up to 14 hours.

“In order to bridge the gap between leaving work and attending meetings, the council provides a hot or cold fork buffet and tea/coffee for elected members and council staff only.”

The council spokesperson added: “Any remaining food is stored and made available to members after the meeting, following which any surplus food is removed of by the council’s caterers.

“Last year the total spend for all council and committee meetings was £13,884.20.”