Erewash Labour move to slash hospitality budget

Erewash Labour Group has called on the borough council to slash its hospitality budget by 75 per cent and spend it on the vulnerable instead.

Labour leader Alex Phillips has said the group would no longer be accepting complimentary food and drink during civic functions.

The group is putting forward a motion for the budget cut on Thursday’s full council meeting - suggesting the savings made be directed to projects such as the Long Eaton and Sawley Food Bank and Ilkeston’s Arena Church Food Bank.

Mr Phillips said: “If Councillors and their guests want a drink, then they should pay for it instead of getting fat at the taxpayers’ expense.”

Figures released by Erewash Borough Council’s finance department show the hospitality budget for 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 as £18, 014, £12,495 and £13,804 respectively.

It pays for everything from civic receptions, including the recent one in which Sir Dave Brailsford was bestowed with Freeman of the Borough, to the upkeep of the Mayor’s civic regalia.

Erewash Borough Council leader Chris Corbett said: “All these events would have to stop without a budget to pay for them. Surely they (Labour Group councillors) can remember the pleasure that residents get,when the Mayor arrives to wish them well on a 100th birthday or a golden wedding.