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Biscuitgate: Crunch time for Derry council as solution found to biscuit problem

By Staff Reporter

A row over the number of biscuits provided to councillors at crunch meetings in Derry City and Strabane has been resolved.

'Biscuitgate' started after councillors attending meetings in Strabane found they were being given three biscuits - while in Londonderry's Guildhall each got just a single biscuit each.

While such inequality left some cheesed off, the row has been resolved after it was decided that councillors hobnobbing after meetings would in future make a contribution to charity every time they munched a biscuit.

Council meetings are divided between Derry and Strabane as a result of the merger of two local councils back in 2015.

It's understood the deluxe biscuit range offered at Strabane included shortbread, digestives and bourbon creams, along with tea and coffee.

SDLP councillor Shauna Cusack put forward a peace proposal at yesterday's meeting of the health and community committee, following chatter on social media over the provision of biscuits to councillors during meetings.

"In the wake of what has been called 'biscuitgate' I think it would be an idea to have a donations box next to the biscuits - at meetings with the proceeds to go to the Mayor's charity," she proposed.

The tasty proposal was passed by eight votes to one.

Town hall biscuit battles have a long history. In 2015, it was revealed that Assembly Members had up a £100,000 bill over four years for refreshments served at committee meetings.

Peckish MLAs were supplied with trays of sandwiches, biscuits, fruit and tea or coffee at most committee sessions, along with mints, which are also available in the Chamber.

In fact, MLAs were getting through around 500 tubes of mints a year at a cost of around £300 annually.

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