CIVIC chiefs in Winchester want to cut back on the costs of council meetings, after suggestions they can be costly with just “a small amount of business done”.

The matter was raised at a recent (January 9) meeting at the Guildhall by councillor Harry Verney.

Mr Verney said: “Given the small amount of business done at the last meeting, does the council think this was a good use of the tax payer's money?”

Council bosses revealed that the cost of that December meeting was £3,160.

More than £1,000 was spent printing on papers, while a further £1,000 was spent on 'arranging the meeting, communicating the meeting and producing minutes.”

Council leader Keith Wood said: “The question is valid one.If we're going to get 50-plus officers here for an agenda with one item on it, that seems excessive.”

He also said he was hoping to reduce the number of meetings and that there had been no objections from party leaders.

However Lib Dem Kelsie Learney said it was important to recognise that there is “an intrinsic cost to democracy.”