THE Marymass hospitality bill is to come under the microscope in the latest bid to curb the Irvine Common Good spending.
Councillors are to look at their food and drinks spending – but not immediately.
The under-pressure fund pays for the council’s hospitality marquee on the Moor on Marymass Saturday.
It also meets the cost of a pre-crowning reception at the Townhouse.
This week the Irvine Area Committee agreed to examine alternative sources of funding and to determine the nature and cost of their presence at Marymass at a future date.
At one time the fund splashed out on lavish hospitality for councillors and guests.
This included a substantial lunch and an all-day free bar.
But it has been cut back with in-house catering and a limit on the free drinks.
One source told the Irvine Herald: “There was a time when an invitation to the tent was the ticket to a right good day out.
“You were wined and dined all day. All you needed was your stakes for the racing.
“But it has been cut back over the last few years.”
The committee – which had only one item on the agenda – was told a going rent for the council depot in Quarry Road was in the region of £2500 to £3000 a year.
Currently the local authority pays the fund just £1 for the use of the premises.
It also emerged the rent for land at the Bartonholm Household Waste Centre, which is owned by the council, was set at £750 a year in 2005.
It has since been raised to £1250 with the next review set at January 2015.
Rental income from the Townhouse has slumped by almost £26,000 because the licensing team have transferred to Cunninghame House and the court service will quit by the end of September.
This will leave the building empty and in need of repairs.
But only essential work will be carried out in view of the ongoing talks about a new leisure centre.
The committee was told income is expected to be £84,600 – a drop of £28,200.
This leaves a spending figure of £60,759.
A further financial report will be presented to the committee in September and that full review of the fund will be carried out during the financial year.