SDC Cllrs travelling expenses for their own “mode of transport” is as follows:
Cars & Vans 45p a mile. Motorbikes 24p a mile. Bicycles 20p a mile.
In respect of the carriage [giving a lift] of Cllrs to whom a travelling allowance would otherwise be payable, an allowance of 5p per mile is recommended as payable.
Therefore if we look at former Cllr Tillson’s expenses – remember he does not drive, so would an allowance be payable? – see expenses we can see as Cllr Simmons gave him a lift and the sum claimed by former Cllr Tillson was 25p a mile rather than 5p a mile.
So who overclaimed? Former Cllr Tillson, or is the error with the Council as they state clearly on their form the sum to be paid is 5p a mile for giving a lift to a fellow Cllr. So did the monitoring officers -Estelle Culligan, Peter Wignall and Amandeep Khroud responsible for checking the allowances and the finance officer Joanna Miller responsible for the money – get it wrong? Where does the responsibility lie for this cock up?
As we said, as former Cllr Tillson does not drive is he entitled to claim a travel allowance for mileage. We know he had a senior citizens bus pass and he could rightfully claim for any travel prior to 9.30am.
Cllrs are allowed to claim other allowances such as Breakfast, Lunch Tea and Evening Meal Allowances. They must be carrying out “approved”(by whom?) duty at a place more than three miles from their home”. There are maximums that Cllrs can spend. These are:
Breakfast Allowance [more than 4 hours away from home before 11am] £5.88
Lunch Allowance [more than 4 hours away from place of residence] including the lunch time 12noon – 2pm £8.13
Tea Allowance [more than 4 hours away from place of residence] 3pm – 6pm £3.21
Evening Meal Allowance [more than 4 hours away from place of residence] after 7pm £10.06
So in one day a Cllr could claim £27.28 for food. The average household spends £83.60 each week on food and drink according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) [June 2015]. How many people could be fed for £27.28? A family of four? And for how long 1 day, 2 days, more?
Anyway going back to the main point. Why did former Cllr Tillson claim at 25p a mile when it is clear the “approved” sum is 5p a mile? Did he over claim or was he allowed to over claim by the responsible officers?
And was the rate paid to Cllr Simmons, former Cllr Tillson’s error? Should it be he [Mr Tillson] who should pay the overclaimed monies back?
We hope the investigation and report being undertaken by SDC will clear these anomalies up.