Government cuts "unprecedented" - but there's always room for wine

The value of the wine on offer after the meeting came to £18

The value of the wine on offer after the meeting came to £18

First published in News
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A COUNCILLOR claimed in a meeting some council services could be scrapped altogether because of government cuts.

Deputy leader Councillor Barbara Rice made the comments during a meeting of Thurrock Council at the civic offices in Grays last night, arguing that government cuts were forcing the council to make £37 million worth of cuts, which would eat into public services and scrap some altogether.

However, despite the ‘cut to the bone’ rhetoric, councillors still managed to enjoy a selection of three wines after the meeting, which finished at 10pm, in a room adjacent to the council chamber.

The council has since confirmed that the wine is paid for out of mayor Cllr Steve Liddiard's own pocket and is not funded by the tax payer.

Earlier in the evening, Councillor Rice had pointed to the severity of the cuts the council was having to make to public services.

“The severity of the cuts from this Tory-led government are unprecedented,” she declared, to jeers from the Conservative benches.

“Further cuts of 10 per cent year on year will result in us needing to find savings of £37 million,” she added.

“I want to congratulate the cabinet for reaching a balanced budget in the last two years even if, regrettably, services will be cut and some lost altogether.”

A councillor suggested to the Gazette after last night's meeting that food and drink on offer to members was paid for by the council, but the council has confirmed that is not the case.

UKIP Councillor Robert Ray, who pleaded not guilty to drink driving at Basildon Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, stuck to the grape juice.

Comments (2)

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10:07am Thu 24 Jul 14

woodsider says...

Having been a local trustee for a national charity that involves regular trustee meeetings I can tell the council has a lot to learn. The charity view is that donors money should not be used for trustees refreshements. They take their own bottles of water and, if wanted, their own biscuits and snack bars, paid for out of their own pocket. Councillors should do the same. If they were at home that evening or out on leisure aciivity they would buy their own refreshments. Same applies if in a council meeting. Followiing this rationale, my employeer doesnt pay for evening refreshments when I work late.
Having been a local trustee for a national charity that involves regular trustee meeetings I can tell the council has a lot to learn. The charity view is that donors money should not be used for trustees refreshements. They take their own bottles of water and, if wanted, their own biscuits and snack bars, paid for out of their own pocket. Councillors should do the same. If they were at home that evening or out on leisure aciivity they would buy their own refreshments. Same applies if in a council meeting. Followiing this rationale, my employeer doesnt pay for evening refreshments when I work late. woodsider
  • Score: 4

2:41pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Dave_ says...

It's about time the council underwent a 'green field' excercise to work out who among the senior, middle and supervisory grades they actually need. I bet there would be a few missing at the end of it.
We should also make all councillor roles part-time and receipt supported expenses only. For the last 19 years our expenses at work have all needed a receipt with the exception of tunnel/bridge tolls. Mileage for those who use their car for business purposes is claimed p/mile, but try and milk it and you're on dodgy ground.
Everytime there's a funding cut, it's some councillor or other saying cut or lose services to make a headline. The problem we are getting in local and national government is too many 'professional' politicians who seek roles on this committee/board and that committee/board and have no idea about grassroots and see politial posts in LG as a stepping stone to greater glories and hopefully no need to actually work for a living again.
It's about time the council underwent a 'green field' excercise to work out who among the senior, middle and supervisory grades they actually need. I bet there would be a few missing at the end of it. We should also make all councillor roles part-time and receipt supported expenses only. For the last 19 years our expenses at work have all needed a receipt with the exception of tunnel/bridge tolls. Mileage for those who use their car for business purposes is claimed p/mile, but try and milk it and you're on dodgy ground. Everytime there's a funding cut, it's some councillor or other saying cut or lose services to make a headline. The problem we are getting in local and national government is too many 'professional' politicians who seek roles on this committee/board and that committee/board and have no idea about grassroots and see politial posts in LG as a stepping stone to greater glories and hopefully no need to actually work for a living again. Dave_
  • Score: 5

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