I would like to know
a) whether the Council provides free dinners to Councillors and/or Council staff before full Council meetings, and if so
b) the annual cost of these dinners to the tax-payer.
The Council has a scheme of allowances which outlines that Members of the Council can claim subsistence allowances for periods of time for when they are engaged on Council duties.
However, on occasions, the Council will instead provide a working / networking lunch. The data held is related to the costs for all catering and is not broken down to such a level to extract the data for certain types of meeting so it is not possible to analyse the costs for a particular meeting type.
At the last calculation, the cost was in the region of £1128.00 per meeting with 5 meetings held on an annual basis. That is based on 60 Councillors and 3 or 4 Members of staff, but it is important to note that not all partake.