Two Ryedale councillors are calling for a biscuit ban amid concerns at the cost of the snacks to the public.
Cllr Luke Ives and his Conservative Party colleague Caroline Goodrick want members of Ryedale District Council to pay for their own biscuits and drinks at future public meetings.
The call follows an information request from Cllr Ives in October last year which revealed that the authority’s Senior Management Team had spent £1,833.72 on tea, coffee and biscuits during the 2012/2013 financial year.
A further request revealed that councillors also have access to unlimited free drinks.
“At a time of deep budget cuts, it is unacceptable that politicians can eat and drink at the taxpayers expense,” said Cllr Ives. “As the decision makers, we must set an example for the rest of the public sector, and ensure that every penny of hard earned taxpayers’ money is spent wisely.”
He also directed his anger at the Tories’ main political opponent, Cllr John Clark, leader of the Liberal Party, after he allegedly snaffled some biscuits at a recent meeting.
“I was outraged at the last resources working party when I saw Cllr Clark hoard a handful of biscuits after the meeting had finished,” said Cllr Ives. “It really was taking the biscuit and it’s time this practice stopped.”
Cllr Goodrick, the Deputy Leader of Ryedale District Council, added: “While the council has made great strides in reducing waste over recent years, the information obtained by Cllr Ives shows that there still remains areas to improve. Admittedly the sums involved in the instance are small compared to the authority’s budget as a whole, but they are nevertheless highly symbolic and completely indefensible.
“I completely support a voluntary drinks fund, and I am sure that most Councillors will be happy to contribute to it pending a permanent solution.”