Pomp and Circumstance: Council spent 140,000 pounds on civic events in 2022
Councillors pledged to cut thousands from reception and hospitality fund last September
By Josh Pizzuto-Pomaco
Aberdeen City Council spent nearly 140,000 pounds on civic events during the 2022/2023 financial year, an Freedom of Information request has uncovered.
The request revealed that £130,000 had been spent on providing food and beverage for civic receptions, which are hosted by the Lord Provost or other Council officials- and can range from large formal dinners to small buffets.
The receptions often honour charities or other civic organisations, as well as important guests and other dignitaries.
In addition, the Council spent £8,300 on venue hires, such as the Beach Ballroom and Aberdeen Art Gallery, and £1,600 on live entertainment.
Such events are paid for by the Council's Common Good Fund, which designated £167,000 to civic receptions and hospitality in 2022/2023.
However, last September, councillors voted to slash £100,000 in funding for 'civic receptions, gifts and hospitality' as well as travel expenses for the Lord Provost and 'city twinning' activities.
Proposed by Liberal Democrat Martin Greig, the cuts were aimed at providing funds for families struggling to purchase winter clothing.
Grieg's apparent act of goodwill was actually an amendment to a more ambitious motion.
That plan, proposed by Labour Councillor Deena Tissera, asked for 500,000 pounds from Council contingencies to support food banks during the growing cost of living crisis.
Tissera's motion was rejected by administration councillors, who voted to approve Grieg's proposal instead.
The total allocation in the Common Good Fund prior to the funding cuts was 256,000 pounds, leaving just £156,000 after the reduction was approved.
With at least £130,000 of those funds put toward civic event costs, it appears that the Lord Provost's travel expenses and the city twinning programme suffered the greatest cuts.