Councillors can continue to munch on sandwiches, biscuits and fruit and sip tea, coffee and soft drinks at meetings as review of hospitality is put off until the summer

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A review of hospitality arrangements at meetings of Mid & East Antrim Borough Council has been put off until after the May elections.

The matter was discussed at a behind-closed-doors section of a council meeting – from which the press and public are excluded.

Minutes of the meeting – which only give a flavour of what was talked about – are now on the council website.

The report showed that a council officer gave councillors an update on hospitality arrangements provided by other councils for council and committee meetings and she reminded members of the current provisions locally.

The officer sought direction from councillors on the way forward.

Ballymena area Ulster Unionist councillor Stephen Nicholl proposed that as the current Council term was almost at an end, the existing catering arrangements continue and consideration of the way forward be delayed until the new Council is elected.

On the proposal of Cllr Nicholl, seconded by Larne Ulster Unionist Andrew P Wilson, the Council agreed that the existing arrangements be continued and a report with a number of options as to the way to proceed be presented to the new Council.

A Council spokesperson told ‘Ballymena Daily’ the “situation will be reviewed in the summer”.

They said the current hospitality arrangements involve “sandwiches, biscuits, fruit, tea, coffee and soft drinks for council, committees and working groups”.

They said councillors do not get a “full dinner”.

The spokesperson said the review was part of their “regular business” and said the report could not be made public as it was discussed in closed council.

The spokesperson said anyone attempting to find out how much is spent on hospitality could submit a Freedom of Information request.

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