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
In the Statement_of_Accounts_Unaudited_2015_16_June_2016 at page 77 Members Allowances, it states the sum of £324,000.
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.