Brent Council chiefs discussed cuts over suppers costing taxpayers more than �1,000

Town hall bosses drew up cost-cutting plans while tucking in to hotel meals

Town hall bosses discussed multi-million cuts in the borough while tucking into a �500 hotel meal paid for by taxpayers.

Labour councillors and senior members of staff at Brent Council spent �520 on the supper at Wembley Plaza hotel, in Empire Way, Wembley, last month.

It followed another dinner at the same hotel in July which cost �520.

Cllr Barry Cheese, Liberal Democrat councillor for Brondesbury Park, said: “Labour councillors should be ashamed of themselves for spending more than �1,000 of Brent taxpayers’ money this year on dinners for themselves at a posh hotel.

“These are the same councillors who closed our local libraries, who are taking away lollipop patrols and who slashed the street cleaning service.

“At a time like this every penny counts. Labour should stop this waste of public money.”

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In 2010, Labour councillors spent almost �8,000 on two budget away days at an expensive hotel in Buckinghamshire.

The council says away days aim to help councillors and officers bond and to talk informally about the decisions they have to make.

This year they took place at the Brent People Centre, a council owned building, before the councillors went to the hotel for dinner which Cllr Ann John OBE, leader of the authority, described as an “economy buffet”.

She said: “It was a very inexpensive meal. The wine was paid for by everyone there.

“It was an opportunity to have informal conversations with members and officers.

“Most organisations of any size do this once of twice a year and has been at happening at the council for some time. “It is very important at the moment when the Government is making these awful cuts.

“The changes they are making are an assault on poor people and an assault on local government.

“It’s was an economy buffet. It was not a sit down meal.”

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