HACKNEY COUNCIL has a reputation in local government for careful money management and its spending on meetings confirms that.
What its taxpayers think is another matter, but for the last financial year, 2013-14, council meetings ran up £10,369 on teabags, coffee, fruit juice and biscuits, a good £600 down on the previous year’s £11,001.
The council no longer supplies pre-bottled water at meetings, either. Evian, Malvern and other bottles rate low in sustainability, a notion Hackney was slow to catch on to. But at last it is giving more meaning to that overused word, “sustainability”.
Though far more costly, bottled h2o is no better for you than water out of a British tap.
Even the council’s Hackney Stars evening honouring the year’s top-performing staff came in at just over £600 cheaper: £12,378 this year compared with £13,138 in 2012-13.
The hospitality is not excessive. Or is it? Figures such as these obtained by Loving Dalston are not easy to get so it is difficult to say how the expenditure compares with that of other councils.
Finance councillor Geoff Taylor told Loving Dalston: “The council continues to reduce spending year on year and refreshment at council meetings is no exception.”
Neither Tories nor LibDems replied to an offer to comment.
Hamish Scott 170914
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