South Scotland

Scottish Borders Council urged to end free lunches

Fish and chips
Image caption The council has been urged to end the free lunches for its members

A Scottish local authority is being urged to scrap free lunches for councillors in order to save money.

Scottish Borders Council - run by a Tory/Lib Dem alliance - needs to find £16m worth of savings in the next financial year.

SNP member Donald Moffat said councillors should lead by example and has tabled a motion to scrap the lunches to cut costs by £7,000-a-year.

Earlier this year SBC banned biscuits from its meetings on health grounds.

Mr Moffat's motion will go before a full meeting of the council later this week.

He has also urged the authority to dispense with its "coffee hub" to save more than £4,300.

Good canteen

Mr Moffat said: "Most people working in this area pay for their lunches and I do not see why councillors should be any different.

"We are making large cuts to our budget next year and I think we should be seen to be leading from the front.

"We have a perfectly good canteen at the council headquarters which our staff use and pay for their lunch."

He said councillors now received an allowance which many people in the region would regard as a good wage, which eliminated the need for the free meal.

"I can imagine some of my colleagues will not be happy at this motion but I am hoping it will be supported," he said.

"We are talking about a matter of principle here and this is an area we could make savings without affecting frontline services."

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