Good to see that even in the depths of credit crunch, recession-hit, Britain the leaders of Birmingham City Council were doing their best to wine and dine in style.
There appears to have been no shortage of firms willing to offer corporate entertainment at top football games, Test matches, the opera and ballet – and equally, no shortage of takers for the numerous perks thrown at the council’s decision makers.
Spare a thought for city leader Mike Whitby, or at least for his digestive system which you might imagine will by now be feeling the effects of more than 100 drinks receptions, lunches, dinners and other events.
Cabinet members and other senior councillors see it as part and parcel of their job to “bang the drum for Birmingham” by attending corporate events, and it would be naive to suppose that business is never initiated in the executive boxes of our finest football grounds.
But not everyone in Austerity Britain will see it this way. Some people might wonder how much value councillors really generate over the drinks and canapes. Backbench councillors, whose humdrum lives rarely if ever revolve around gold-embossed invitations, will today be casting a jealous glance at the city’s well-fed and watered political elite.