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TICKETS to see superstar DJ Pete Tong and join Catherine Zeta Jones at an evening function are among the gifts received by council officers in Swansea.

Some officers have been treated to Swansea City football and Glamorgan cricket matches, while another had an evening meal and overnight accommodation at the Novotel in Cardiff courtesy of the Welsh Local Government Association.

And this year, officers have received 10 gifts from housing tenants – including perfume costing around £90.

Councillors must publicly declare gifts and hospitality worth more than £25, but this is not the case for officers.

Officers must, however, must declare them internally to the authority.

A Freedom of Information request by the Local Democracy Reporter Service has found that officers declared six gifts and hospitality internally in 2017-18, nine in 2018-19 and 29 between April 1 and November 20, 2019.

These £25-plus treats included an invitation by construction company Interserve to attend a Constructing Excellence in Wales awards night at Newport’s Celtic Manor Resort, worth £100, and two tickets and hospitality from Swansea University to watch the annual Welsh Varsity rugby match, worth £120.

Vodafone, Nathaniel Cars, the Balconiers Cricket Club, and JR Events and Catering were among the organisations listed as having given out tickets and hospitality – but some were also given to officers by councillors.

Global asset managers Aviva Investors generously gave an officer or officers in the finance department a basket of fresh fruit, which was in turn donated to a food bank.

The council’s response added: “We also receive an allocation of tickets as part of a commercial contract with music event promoters where we are a partner in staging and managing a concert in Swansea.”

A spokesman said this amounted to around 20 tickets per year.

Council officers in Carmarthenshire have also declared gifts and hospitality worth £25 or more to the authority.

There have only been 13 instances of this in 2017-18, 2018-19 and April 1 to November 20, 2019, far fewer than across the border in Swansea, but only three of them had a valued attached.

These three were an invitation by engineering firm Arup to make a transport presentation, worth £148; hospitality provided by Wales Audit Office linked to a webinar event, valued at £148; and two tickets from the University of Trinity Saint David for a production of Hwn Yw Fy Mrawd, worth £74.

Those with an unknown value included Blackrock Investment providing dinner to a council officer or officers on Dyfed Pension Fund business in London, and an evening meal paid for by investment company Link Asset Services at Caernarfon’s Castle Hotel.

A council spokesman said officers must not accept significant gifts from contractors or outside suppliers, but can keep little items like pens and diaries.

She added: “Employees should only accept offers of hospitality if there is a genuine need to impart information or represent the local authority in the community.”

Offers to attend sporting or cultural events, she said, should be only accepted when these were part of life in the community and where the council should be seen to be represented.

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