BASINGSTOKE and Deane Borough Council spent almost £3,000 on refreshments at council meetings in ten months last year.

A Freedom of Information Request sent to the council from the Gazette asked how much was spent on refreshments at council meetings.

In the ten months that data was available, £2,763.12 was spent on food and drink provided to councillors at meetings between January 4 and October 24, 2019.

That's the equivalent of 921 Tesco meal deals - or three a day throughout the first ten months of 2019.

The Tax Payer's Allowance said the money Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council spent "doesn't seem that outrageous".

However, Basingstoke council have said that they will be decreasing the refreshments budget for the next year.

They say it will be discussed at February’s council meeting.

The most expensive month was March, where more than £425 was spent on providing refreshments for the seven council meetings that took place that month.

Meanwhile, April was the least expensive month; only £51 was spent on its single meeting.

Sue Cuerden, Executive Director of Finance and Resources, said: “Council meetings usually start at 6.30pm and can last for several hours.

“Therefore, we currently provide refreshments for councillors attending these evening meetings.

“Through the budget process we review the way we spend our money and it has been proposed to reduce the amount spent on refreshments for the 2020-21 budget.

“The budget will be discussed at Council on Thursday 27 February.”

Four different platters were ordered throughout the year, mainly compromising of half a sandwich, a homemade cake, half a portion of fruit, two or three meat nibbles and two or three vegetarian nibbles, per person. A gluten free option was also available.

The viewing panel saw one filled baguette given to each person, along with tea or coffee.