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Glasgow hospitality bill down £177,000

THE amount of money Glasgow City Council bosses have spent on visiting dignitaries has been cut by more than £170,000.

Figures show the city's budget for civic hospitality will be underspent this year in what insiders say reflects a growing culture of austerity in the local authority.

Glasgow currently sets aside about £600,000 from its Common Good Fund - a historic kitty put aside for the benefit of citizens - for sometimes lavish events.

However, with 10 weeks of the 2013-14 financial year left, officials have still to commit £177,000 of that money, almost a third of the total.

Councillors will pass any underspend on to the next financial year, which will include the Commonwealth Games.

Green Party councillor Martha Wardrop said: "Any underspend at March 31 should be carried forward and reduce the overall contribution required from the Common Good Fund in the next financial year. It may be there is a need to review the requirement for a civic hospitality of £598,000 in 2014-15."

The fund used to pay for receptions for visiting delegates to conferences. Now this cash comes from Glasgow's City Marketing Board.

The council has stopped subsidising lunches in its exclusive dining room for councillors and senior executives from Common Good.

By last March the fund was worth £16.2m.

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