For a second year in a row there are anomalies in SDC Councillors Allowances and Expenses claims. Cllrs have learned some new tricks and we the ratepayers of Shepway are losing out, but we’ll get to that after we’ve told you how much some of the have earned.
All information has been gathered by our public face from the SDC accounts which are open to inspection until 12th Aug 2016. We have attached the quarterly sheets below as a pdf for you to be able to read or download.
The Cabinet made up of 9 conservatives all received the following amounts for 2015/16.
Cabinet Members Expenses & Allowances
Cllr D. Monk – Total – 15/16 = £29,482.60 (Leader of SDC)
Cllr S.Carey – Total – 15/16 = £15,236.03 (Cabinet)
Cllr J. Hollingsbee – Total – 15/16 = £18,892.81 (Cabinet)
Cllr J. Collier – Total – 15/16 = £15,157.22 (Cabinet)
Cllr. M. Dearden – Total – 15/16 = £15,230.07 (Cabinet)
Cllr A.Ewart James – Total – 15/16 =£15,735.52 (Cabinet)
Cllr D. Godfrey – Total – 15/16 = £15,078.60 (Cabinet)
Cllr R. Love – Total – 15/16 = £16,438.82 (Cabinet)
Cllr S. Peall – Total – 15/16 = £15,048.15 (Cabinet)
Cllr P. Martin – Total – 15/16 = £13,717.72 (Cabinet)
Leader of the Opposition (UKIP)
Cllr M. Lawes – Total – 15/16 = £11,478.72
Solitary Labour Member
Cllr C. Jeffrey – Total – 15/16 = £4,719.65
Now back to those anomalies.
When you add up all the grand totals you get the sum of £331,174.82
Ok, if we minus the£8,144.84 allowances for Cllrs who sit as Directors of Oportunitas Ltd,(an SDC Company) we end up with a grand total of £323,029.98. This leaves £970.02 unaccounted for.
Now we can see from the actual expenses claims Cllrs submitted (which will go online) that Cllr Lenny Laws (UKIP)
travelled a few times to Warwick Conference Venue at Warwick University for ‘Training’. Now each time he went, he went by car and states that it was 188 miles from Folkestone to Warwick Conference Venue. Then on Oct 27th & 28th 2015 he travels there and miraculously the distance has increased by 10 miles on each occasion. Might he explain this anomaly.
Also we note that Cllr Laws is filling up at Sainsburys, and then collecting the nectar points for the fuel, then submitting the bill to SDC and being paid. Why are the residents of Shepway paying for Cllr Laws nectar points? We admit he’s not the only one. Some Cllrs so it appears are doing the same with their Tesco Clubcard. Points make prizes but those prizes are not for the likes of us
Our public face has asked SDC for an explanation. There initial reply was that it was the Oportunitas allowances which skewed the sums. When our public face pointed out that couldn’t be the case they looked puzzled. Then they informed him they’d have an answer by Friday.
An anomaly of £970.02 exists, and once again Cllrs expenses appears to be the problem. How is it that SDC have missed this amount yet our public face has not? He unlike they is not a trained accountant. Surely, after the last expenses débâcle in 2014/15, involving Cllr Peter Simmons (C), you might have thought SDC would have learnt something, but it appears not.
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is there no way that we can get the councilors to justify their expense claims? Its our money they are spending and we should have some say about it!
There’s ‘snout better than a SDC Counciliar at the trough.
I’ll be very interested to look at some of the expenses should I get a few hours to spare but from my past experience wanted to alert you that the aspect of Clubcard or Nectar points us really neither here nor there as the councillors are not submitting their fuel bills four payment. Councils do not pay fuel bills only a mileage claim – not sure what current level for councils is per mile but sure it would be in councillor code of conduct and this would take into account fuel, them having to pay by business insurance etc. The fuel receipts are required though to be submitted as VAT receipts for fuel used are needed to allow councils or businesses to recover the VAT element of mileage allowances from HM Revs and Customs who can request these as part of an audit inspection. Cheers.