Published: 13/03/2018 19:00 - Updated: 08/03/2018 14:46

Councillors eat into savings - literally!

Written byEmma Crichton


Councillors have failed to achieve savings meant to have been made on their own salaries and expenses.

DESPITE making £15 million cuts just weeks ago, Highland councillors are failing to meet their side of the bargain and have not been able to save any money on their own lunches.

Last year councillors agreed to slash £16,000 from their own budget, which covers their salaries, expenses and catering but it has now been revealed the saving has not been made.

All 74 councillors are offered hot meals at the Glenurquhart Road headquarters in Inverness, as well as rolls, tea, coffee and biscuits and it has been revealed that the £160,000 budget is expected to be over spent by £4000.

Council business manager Kate Lackie admitted without a vacancy in the catering department costs would be almost £16,000 over budget – the entire amount they were supposed to save.

Deputy opposition leader Richard Laird, who is one of the councillors who chooses not to take up the food on offer, hit out at the cost.

He said: "A £16,000 hole because members are refusing to abide by a saving at our own hand is something we cannot deem acceptable in the current financial climate."

Corporate resources chairman and budget leader Alister Mackinnon said he is "looking into it".

The row over free meals has been ongoing for a number of years.

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