Islington Council scraps fancy reception to pay for pensioners’ Christmas lunch

A CHRISTMAS gathering of Islington Council bigwigs has ben scrapped to pay for a special festive lunch for older residents.

Instead of mingling with the borough’s great and good at the annual Islington Town Hall reception on December 22, senior councillors and officers will serve up roast turkey and stuffing to up to 100 people in the neighbouring assembly hall.

The �1,033 cost of the knees-up has been met by axing the council’s annual borough reception for community figures and council partners - and Islington Council leader Catherine West will be among those dishing up the grub.

Councillor West said: “We’re here to serve Islington’s residents, especially the most vulnerable and disadvantaged, and that’s what the lunch is all about.

“The council administration has changed since last Christmas and we think it’s much more important to spend money on older residents than a council reception.

“At a time when we face huge government cuts, this is a chance for us to say thanks and merry Christmas to Islington’s older people.”

The lunch runs from 12.30pm to 4pm with entertainment from singer/songwriter Angie A and musicians from “The Consciousness Club”, house band of the music education charity Music for People.

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Budgens, Tesco, Islington United Charities and the Business Design Centre are among the local businesses who have donated food and drink.

Dominic Jones, chief executive of the Business Design Centre, said: “As soon as we heard about this lunch, we offered to help any way we could.

“We firmly believe that businesses should support their local communities and what a pleasure it is for us to bring some cheer to the older residents of Islington at Christmas time. They absolutely deserve it.”