Councillors fight back over boozy dinner claims
SUGGESTIONS Penrith councillors and staff are enjoying boozy dinners before meetings have been labelled as “outrageous and insulting”.
Cr Marcus Cornish has raised concerns over the drinking habits of his colleagues, saying it was not uncommon for some coun- cillors or staff to have two or three glasses with dinner before meetings.
Other councillors have hit back and said the statement was aimed more at grabbing headlines then addressing any real problems.
“I just do not see what this is all about. Like millions of Australians, some councillors like to have a drink with dinner,” Cr John Thain said.
“It is just attention seeking. If this has been a big problem he should point to certain incidences where he thinks there were concerns.”
Cr Cornish raised the matter during last week’s meeting.
“I think it is a real concern that people are drinking at the council dinner prior to the meeting, where council- lors have to make decisions that will affect thousands of people,” Cr Cornish said.
Deputy Mayor Greg Davies said in his 21 years on the council, this had never been raised before.
“I have a drink with my meal on some occasions,” he said. “I don’t see a problem if councillors want to have a drink with their dinner and, if I thought councillors were getting inebriated before meetings, then I would be concerned and I would be one of the first to raise the issue.”
Mayor Ross Fowler said raising the issue was an unnecessary distraction from all the good work the council was doing.
“I have got no idea where this has come from. On Monday I was sitting next to Mr Cornish and I had a glass of wine with dinner as did a few of the others and he never once mentioned the issue,” Cr Fowler said.
Cr Kevin Crameri supported Cr Cornish and said he thought any alcohol must have some effect.