Council trims food and booze cost

BY KRIS DANDO
Last updated 10:40 05/02/2013

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Spending on alcohol and catering by Porirua City Council is costing more than $100,000 a year - but trends show the belt is being tightened.

Figures released to Kapi-Mana News for this triennium show catering - for councillors' meals, civic functions, community meetings and staff events - was $105,447 in the 2010/11 financial year, with $8028 spent on alcohol. In 2011/12 it was $99,727 and $3795 respectively.

Since July 2012, catering has cost PCC $54,777 and $3113 for alcohol.

Chief executive Gary Simpson says his staff are "mindful of the sensitivities" relating to food and alcohol, and they have a policy to be prudent where possible. On international trips, councillors have a meal allowance, which may include a glass of wine with dinner.

Porirua mayor Nick Leggett says in the last year they have sliced up to 5 per cent from their operating budgets, with the community telling them that more must be invested in assets and long-term projects.

"The day-to-day spending needs to be peeled back and so we are thinking about things like food and alcohol spending.

"We do host civic events, meetings and ceremonies, and while we do try to rein in costs where appropriate, I think there is a reasonable expectation catering and alcohol to be part of that."

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