End to free lunches

THERE is no such thing as a free lunch at Endeavour House any more!Accountants have discovered that the legacy that was used to pay for lunches for county councillors before meetings ran out two years ago, and that the meals have been paid for by taxpayers since 2004.

THERE is no such thing as a free lunch at Endeavour House any more!

Accountants have discovered that the legacy that was used to pay for lunches for county councillors before meetings ran out two years ago, and that the meals have been paid for by taxpayers since 2004.

Now councillors are being told that they will have to buy their own meals from the Endeavour House restaurant before meetings - although they will have reserved tables to eat from.

When it was announced last month that snacks for council staff were being cut to save £144,000 from the council's budget, it was said that the meals for councillors before their meetings eight or nine times a year were safe because they were funded from the legacy of a former councillor who died in the early 20th century.

However now it has emerged that this legacy ran out about two years ago, since when the meals have been paid for from general council funds.

There is always a two-course meal available for councillors, and since the start of 2004 up to 960 meals have been served before meetings.

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Once it was realised that the legacy had run out, there were meetings between political leaders who decided to end the practice of providing free meals.

A council spokesman said: “They decided it would be inappropriate to keep the free meals, although mealtimes are very valuable to meet informally and discuss issues before the meeting.

“So the meals will continue - even though the councillors will be expected to pay for them.”

But while councillors have to pay for their own meals, protesters who came to lobby against proposals to build a horse incinerator in a Suffolk village were given cups of tea and coffee.

The refreshments were provided for the villagers from Stanton in west Suffolk by their councillor Joanna Spicer - who paid for them from her own pocket!

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