herald

Saturday 24 June 2017

Councillors run up €6.6k bill for snacks

'With about 20 meetings a year, the cost of food and drink for this year works out at just over €4 per head' (stock pic)
'With about 20 meetings a year, the cost of food and drink for this year works out at just over €4 per head' (stock pic)

Dublin City Council is clearly tightening its belt on food and beverages supplied at official meetings after spending more than €6,600 in the first 10 months of the year.

Figures show that the total spend for up to 80 councillors and officials at major meetings was €6,614 up to the end of October.

This compares favourably with a total cost of €8,116 for the whole of 2014, while €7,376 was spent for meetings in City Hall last year.

With about 20 meetings a year, the cost of food and drink for this year works out at just over €4 per head.

Councillor Nial Ring said he feels it is good value for money.

"There are a huge number of meetings. To do it for the money they're doing it, it's actually excellent value," he said.

"There would be a range of sandwiches and they have quiche and all this sort of stuff.

"Vegetarian and meat. Now personally I prefer loaf bread with ham and cheese - we are treated now.

"Some councillors have even been known to bring in fish and chips from Burdock's."

The spend for this year is above 2013 levels when the annual bill was €5,600.

It swelled dramatically the following year, jumping by €2,516.

However, not all councillors are happy with the arrangements.

It was revealed early last month that Labour councillor Mary Freehill felt there was not enough food available for full area meetings.

Dinner

Ms Freehill said there were only 15 plates of food laid on on the night to cater for 63 local representatives from Dublin city.

She added that she had referred the issue to the DCC Protocol Committee "several times".

Councillor Eilis Ryan said the food was a good way to facilitate people who work outside their position as public representatives.

"It's certainly better considering the fact that most people don't get a free dinner with their jobs," she added.

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