Councillors have called for an end to sausage and mash and fish and chips on the taxpayer.
The Tory group on Calderdale Council want to end the free meals perk for themselves and their colleagues, who can dine in the Halifax Town Hall cafe.
They have called on the council to scrap free meals for councillors claiming it costs local taxpayers a staggering £90,000 a year.
But the council has voted to keep free councillor meals at a time when it is cutting vital services. The move reversed an earlier decision.
In March 2015 the then Conservative Council planned to withdraw free meals for councillors by closing the Halifax Town Hall Café. The plans would have saved £90,000 per year. However, upon gaining control of the Council in May, Labour announced that they would reverse the decision.
“This decision is unbelievable,” said Clr Scott Benton, Deputy Leader of the Conservative Group.
“At a time when Labour are cutting back on vital services across Calderdale they seem to think that reinstating free councillor meals is a priority. Such decisions are indicative of a council leadership which has the wrong priorities and shows a complete lack of respect for members of the public whose Council Tax is being wasted in such an appalling manner.”
He added: “The cafe is available for all councillor to use before any council meetings that they attend. There is no voucher system, you can just turn up and be fed so to speak. You don’t need to declare the meals as expenses.”
Labour councillor Bryan Smith hit back at the claims.
“I think the Tories are being a little bit mischievous here. We rejected the motion because it only focused on changing the canteen – we are looking at doing a whole review of hospitality services, including the canteen.
“It’s my opinion that councillors should pay for their own meals, but you can’t just close a canteen down straight away – you have people’s jobs to think about.”
There is no provision for councillors to receive free meals in Kirklees but councillors can claim subsistence for approved duties when they are away from the area.
Should councillors eat for free?
0+ VOTES SO FAR
For example the lunch allowance is £8.37, payable to councillors who spend more than three hours away from their home, including the period 12.00 noon - 2.00 pm.