Councillors at odds over Gallipoli trip

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An invitation for councillors to attend the 2015 Pilgrimage to Gallipoli drew a mixed response at Tuesday night’s meeting of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.

At an estimated cost of £1,350 per person for the week-long trip some councillors felt it was excessive to ask council to stump up for it.

Cllr William McCandless had originally proposed two names be drawn out to go and represent council.

This was countered by Cllr George Duddy though, who felt council shouldn’t be ask to pay for the trip.

“I propose that if a councillor wants to go then they should pay their own way,” said Cllr Duddy.

“I fully support people going on this trip and paying their respects to the fallen, however we have talked about reducing costs so I don’t see why councillors cannot pay for themselves.”

His amendment was seconded by Cllr Philip McGuigan.

He asked: “How can we agree to this when we haven’t a policy on conferences?

“This is simply an invitation, if we receive an invitation for councillors to attend the People’s Celebration of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa is council going to pay for that, or what about the 1916 commemorations next year?”

Cllr Brenda Chivers echoed his sentiments.

“There are families out there who can’t even afford a trip to Portrush yet we are looking at council spending nearly £3,000 on this trip, I agree if they want to go they should pay themselves,” she said.

A vote was taken on Cllr Duddy’s amendment with eight voting in favour and 20 voting against, so the amendment fell. A vote was taken on Cllr William McCandless’ proposal, which was successful and carried.