£1,350 forked out on napkins

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CRAIGAVON council has been criticised for lavishly spending £1,350 on crested napkins - by its own Mayor.

The DUP’s Carla Lockhart questioned the reasoning behind spending such a large amount on the napkins which, according to the council, are only used on special occasions.

When asked by the Mail how much the napkins exactly cost, it transpired the ratepayers have forked out £1,350 on 11,000 napkins for use at the Civic Centre in the past year.

The pale cream disposable napkins have the ornate crest of Craigavon Borough Council embossed in gold.

At the monthly meeting, the Mayor queried a £849.70 payment to Lisburn firm ASA Merchandising NI Ltd for the purchase of the napkins.

She asked if the council could do with napkins without a crest. “I do not think we need napkins at that price,” she said.

And she insisted that during these economic times it was necessary for the council to ‘bare right down to the very basic’.

“Yes they may look lovely but at the end of the day they will be put in the bin,” said the Mayor.

A spokesperson for Craigavon Borough Council said: “In 2003 a decision was taken to use high quality, crested napkins at all civic and most external functions including weddings, charity events etc,.

“The rationale for this decision was to use the embossed napkins as a marketing/promotional tool for the Civic Centre as a conference location.

“In the current financial year council has spent £1,350 on 11,000 napkins for use in the Civic Centre. It is anticipated that the napkins purchased will be sufficient for the remainder of the financial year.

“As well as helping promote the conference centre the napkins are useful to ensure the safety of customers attending buffet style events when holding hot plates. There is currently a catering review taking place in council and the use and style of napkins used by council will be included within this review.”

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