Council chiefs have been accused of being mean after they stopped serving the tasty treats for staff meetings.

Oxford City Council said it was saving £1,000 a month since stopping tea, coffee and biscuits for more than 3,000 annual internal meetings.

But the Labour-run authority, which is carrying out a major savings programme, has been branded “petty” for the move.

Caroline Glendinning, branch secretary of the council’s Unison branch, said: “It is a drop in the ocean in the grand scheme of things.”

And Green Party group leader David Williams said: “This is a petty and symbolic thing, it is meaningless.”

Mr Williams said the move made no sense in the face of the council’s £9.3m project to build a new swimming pool in Blackbird Leys.

Temple Cowley Pools in Temple Road will close to part- finance the Blackbird Leys pool, to go next to the estate’s leisure centre in Pegasus Road.

He said: “At the same time they are taking away the odd tea and biscuit they are looking to lavish £9.3m on a new swimming pool. It is ridiculous.”

The council also had £5.2m in reserves it could dip into, Mr Williams said. The authority has argued the cash is needed in case savings do not come off.

Mr Williams said: “They have totally misjudged the budget.”

Council spokesman Annette Cunningham said: “As part of our ongoing drive to improve efficiencies we are no longer supplying refreshments for internal meetings.

“Staff are welcome to bring their own along.”

Tea and coffee is still served at public council meetings.

The Town Hall is cutting £9m over four years. Its spending budget is £25.8m this year and will fall to £24.5m, £24.7m and £24.1m in the following years.

Changes include higher charges for car parks, sports pitches and burial plots while some 110 jobs will go.

The city council last year spent about £12,000 on tea, coffee and biscuits at 3,150 internal meetings. In total, its bill for all refreshments, including all civic events ran to £33,152 – down from £42,240 the year before.

West Oxfordshire District Council said it stopped providing tea and coffee for internal meetings in 2009 to save cash. Cherwell, Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire district councils also do not provide the refreshments.