Councillors swap coq au vin for soup

“CITY councillors may soon be able to tighten their belts a little more – after their three-course dinners were cut to save money. The city council had been forking out £1,000 a sitting to feed 55 councillors plus guests, but this has now been slashed to £500.

Members of Nottingham City Council have been used to hearty suppers at 5pm during meetings of the full council. On the menu were dishes such as ‘coq au vin’ and beef stew with seasonal vegetables, as well as fine curries. Puddings included pavlova, cheesecake, and fruit.

However, when councillors gathered for their food at a council meeting this week, they found their usual tuck replaced by soup and sandwiches as part of a cost cutting exercise. Some disgruntled councillors noted there was no butter for the bread, and no custard or cream for the sponge cake.

The dinners had been downsized under budget plans put forward by the ruling Labour group. Labour claims that the £1,000 cost of each dinner, which served 55 councillors, plus guests, had been slashed to £500.

There were 11 full council meetings last year. Some councillors felt the cooked teas were justified.

Liberal Democrat councillor Tony Sutton said: “If you are attending a long meeting there should be a proper meal.” Council meetings can last for seven hours from 2pm until 9pm…

Nottingham City Council struggled to balance its budget last year, and in order to make ends meet in the current financial year it is planning to axe approximately 350 jobs and another 350 vacant posts.”

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