North Ayrshire Council have defended spending over £10,000 on their annual awards ceremony for staff.

North Ayrshire Achieves is held every year to celebrate their staff but the council have previously have came in for criticism for spending over £160,000 attending awards ceremonies across the UK.

A Freedom of Information request shows that the projected cost for holding the event in Saltcoats Town Hall, which was catered for by the council’s own Facilities Management Catering Teams, is £10,500.

Attended by councillors, directors and other council staff, the event took place on a Thursday night this year and each table of 12 guests were allocated three bottles of wine along with water and Shloer.

Craig Hatton, North Ayrshire Council’s Chief Executive, said: “Motivated employees deliver higher quality and more efficient services. Employee recognition is a proven motivator, and our North Ayrshire Achieves programme forms a key part or our staff recognition approach.

“All our workforce surveys have confirmed that staff benefit from being recognised for the quality and value of their work. As well as regularly thanking staff, our internal programme allows for recognition and sharing good practice.

“Our teams have been going through huge changes during this transformational period and have adapted and worked incredibly hard to deliver the best possible services to communities across North Ayrshire. I am incredibly proud of everyone and feel that it’s only right we celebrate their achievements.”

Mr Hatton, added: “The cost of North Ayrshire Achieves is generally the same each year but the Council’s contribution is determined by how much sponsorship we receive.”