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This is why council staff spent thousands on burgers and pizzas

By Neil_Shaw | Posted: July 06, 2017

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A bill of more than £10,000 has been run up on council credit cards for food bought at McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza Hut and other eateries.

The money, which also went on coffee and sandwiches, was spent by staff at Plymouth City Council over three years as part of £3.5million put onto official cards.

The council today said the food spending would have been made for a number of reasons - including supporting vulnerable young people, reports plymouthherald.

"The Young People's Forum steering group members come straight from school or college and have pizza once a month at their Friday meetings where they plan and co-ordinate their month's work," a spokesman said. "Many other transactions will have been for staff or councillor sustenance whilst carrying out their duties away from their normal place of work."

The largest single food payment was £1,118 at a Levy restaurant, covering catering for the Plymouth stand at the 2016 MIPIM property conference.

A £735 bill was paid at Barbican Kitchen, where Plymouth Energy Community hosted 27 people for a meeting to discuss a project. he council says all costs for the project will be refunded by the EU.

Staff in the HR department were given £600 worth of vouchers for Jolly Jacks restaurant for showing "exceptional teamwork and dedication".

Throughout this week, The Herald is revealing details of the council's 28,000 credit card transactions, totalling £3.5million over two years. The council says the cards make it easier to do business and are paid off in full every month.

"Plymouth City Council has very specific rules about when and where to use council purchase or payment cards," a spokesman said. "We currently have 191 cards in circulation which are separated into three different accounts depending on their purpose.

"The cards were introduced so that businesses receive payments more quickly, more cost-effectively and with less paperwork involved between different departments. The cards are always paid off in full every month. The money comes from individual service budgets."

Click below to search and explore the data in detail. Graphics by Rob Radburn/Local Data Lab.

The PCC spokesman added: "Each purchase/credit card holder has their transactions reviewed and approved by their designated line manager, which is controlled by a weekly summary submitted for their approval.

"This mechanism allows for the questioning of transactions."

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  • Longliner | July 06 2017, 9:25AM

    Why are you fixated on this story, why not run a series on why the DUP is being given the money that should have gone to rail link upgrades? It is a slightly larger sum.

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