Saturday, 16 May 2009

Money well spent?

On Thursday we councillors, and a number of civic dignitaries, enjoyed the pomp and circumstance of the annual mayor-making ceremony, and mayoral reception in the Royal Pavilion's banqueting hall. But was it taxpayers' money well spent?

I'm not arguing we shouldn't do this stuff - I enjoyed a drink or two myself, and even the odd vegan canape (ie a posh chip, served singly rather than by the portion!) - just that we should find a way of making sure local community groups and orgasnisations get to benefit too.

Why couldn't the council have had a slightly less boozy reception this year (the refreshments bill alone came to about £4,000), given the grim economic reality facing many city residents, and the mood of disgust at politicians' greed sweeping the country in the wake of scandal after scandal.

They could have given the money saved instead to one of the many groups struggling to make ends meet as donations dry up: the Brighton Women's Centre, for example, which reported last week that without a serious injection of cash may be forced to close its doors.

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