Judgment day on future of Havant Borough Council’s staff canteen

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UNION leaders look set to lose a battle to keep a council canteen open and stop five people being made redundant.

Unison has urged Havant Borough Council to rethink plans to close the council’s canteen, a facility used by staff for 33 years.

But the ruling Tory cabinet is set to vote tomorrow for the closure of the canteen from July 1 and also to end the council’s civic catering operation, which provides refreshments and food at council meetings.

Councillors want to close the canteen to save the council money as it runs at a loss – last year costing £68,000 to subsidise.

But Unison believes the canteen could be run more cheaply.

The council has identified an area for a new cafe as part of the £13m renovation of the offices currently under way, but Unison says its members would boycott the cafe if it was run by a franchise and not council-run.

Council leader Tony Briggs said: ‘With significant pressures on the budget and the need to make savings going forward, the council has recognised the canteen costs as an issue that needs to be dealt with.’