Local government, Greenwich Council in particular, has become easy prey for the TaxPayers' Alliance and other pressure groups who seriously misrepresent the public sector.
While they are entitled to their view, they might reflect on a scale of one to ten where the greedy bankers sit alongside the commitment and dedication of public servants.
Column inches have recently been published about the costs of the Mayor of Greenwich inauguration at the Painted Hall.
This has taken place in the same venue for the last eleven years. As Mayor in 1999 I well remember the first occasion in which the event was held there.
Should the Council have an annual event? Of course.
Has anybody complained about the City of London's annual Lord Mayor's Banquet? Of course not, because it is a tradition that has been held in the City for hundreds of years. Local councils up and down the country hold similar events and rightly so.
The Painted Hall, part of the UNESCO World Heritage site, is a wonderful setting for such an important event. Hundreds of partners and stakeholders attend and it gives the Council the opportunity to showcase the heritage of the borough.
Of course there is a cost, but the difference between the event being held in the Town Hall or Painted Hall is minimal. We are always sensitive about costs for everything we do and this event is no exception. Mindful of the austerity measures, the costs of the event have been scaled down to reflect our commitment to saving money where we can.
We continue to be lectured by Government ministers and Eric Pickles (Secretary of State for Local Government) in particular. I was at a meeting in Portcullis House last week and was tripping over Members of Parliament sliding off to hospitality events. Has the Houses of Parliament locked up the wine cellar? No, because they see local government as an easy target.
I have not had a single constituent complain about this event. They understand the importance of civic life in which the Mayor plays a key role.
Cllr John Fahy is Greenwich Council's Cabinet Member for Culture and the Olympics.