Report reveals City of Stirling drinks spending on councillor events

City of Stirling's council office.
City of Stirling's council office.

SPENDING on City of Stirling councillor lunches and dinners is being reined in.

The City spent $10,600 on beverages at 21 official events for councillors and their guests between February and October 2017.

From February to July this year, it had spent $6800 on beverages for 11 events.

Cr Giovanni Italiano requested the information and a report was presented to council on September 4, which showed beverage expenditure and attendees at each councillor lunch and dinner in the past two years.

Councillors are allocated two luncheons and eight dinners per calendar year, where they can invite a maximum of 10 guests each per event.

According to the report, the events aimed to recognise the “valuable contribution” by electors, ratepayers and private interests, and encourage networking and professional partnerships.

Former mayor Cr Italiano and then councillor Terry Tyzack attended the maximum number of lunches and dinners in 2017, followed by Cr Andrew Guilfoyle who attended seven dinners and two lunches.

So far in 2018, Cr Adam Spagnolo has been part of six events and Cr Suzanne Migdale five.

Cr Stephanie Proud has not been at any lunches or dinners since November 2016.

The City has spent an average of $524 on drinks per event for the past two years.

The highest amount spent on drinks per head in 2017 was $947 for a dinner with Crs Irwin, Lagan Re and Tyzack and their 40 guests and this year was $714 for Crs Migdale, Sandri and Spagnolo and 30 guests.

The biggest overall beverage expenditure was $1027 on a dinner for Crs Irwin, Lagan, Perkov, Sandri and Spagnolo and 50 guests.

Acting governance manager John Beaton said the frequency of the lunches and dinners had decreased since October last year “in line with council’s direction to reduce costs”.

“The take-up by councillors, the number of invited guests and the rate of expenditure in both periods are in proportion with the policy, which aims to help councillors engage with the City’s diverse community through appropriate networking and encourage professional partnerships in the delivery of initiatives, programs and services,” he said.

More than 1100 people were invited to events in 2017 and 2018.