Havant councillors vote to shut down staff canteen

Campaigners holding information morning in Portsmouth on state pensions

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A COUNCIL canteen is to close making five members of staff redundant.

Union leaders fought to save the canteen at Havant Borough Council which had been used by staff for 33 years.

However, Conservative councillors at Thursday’s cabinet meeting voted to axe it from July, saving £68,000 a year in subsidies. It will mean the end of the council’s civic catering operation, which provides refreshments and food at council meetings.

The canteen had been running at a loss for some time but Unison urged the council to find ways of running it more efficiently to keep it open.

They have said its members will boycott any new cafe in the £13m new Public Service Village if it is not council-run.

Liberal Democrat Faith Ponsonby said she was unhappy that it had been pushed through so quickly.

It did not feature in the budget in February.

She said: ‘It just seems to be to have been rushed through.

‘I think they suddenly realised they had this canteen that physically won’t be there any more when the civic is stripped out in July but we will still have the staff.

‘I certainly don’t want to see a Costa there in its place.’