BURY Council has defended spending more than £2,000 a year on refreshments for councillors.

Statistics revealed under the Freedom of Information Act showed that the council has spent more than £6,000 on refreshments for its elected members since 2015.

The response from the council said that in 2017/18, it spent £2,078 of taxpayers' money on refreshments for meetings.

However, expenditure has fallen since £2015/16 when £2,700.60 was forked out, and 2016/17 when spending on refreshments set the council back £2,256.60.

But, a council spokesman said the money was spent with its own catering department, and therefore stayed inside the organisation.

They added: “As a rule, the council does not provide food and refreshments for elected members, who are expected to make their own arrangements.

“There are some occasions when a meal or a hot drink is provided, such as when members are expected to attend meetings which span the afternoon and evening, leaving no time to go home to eat. This also applies to young people who attend Youth Cabinet immediately after leaving school.

“The council is always determined to reduce costs wherever possible and will continue to do so. The amount spent on refreshments has been coming down year on year, and the current annual cost equates to 80p per councillor per week.”