Yesterday we brought you the Cllrs allowances and expenses in three graphs. Now we will drill down into the detail of each Cllrs allowances and expenses claims, as submitted by each Cllr.
The first Cllr we put under the microscope is Cllr Jennifer Hollingsbee (pictured) – Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities, who in 2018/19 claimed £20,212 in allowances and expenses. And between May 2015 and May 2019 claimed £79,322.
All her expenses claims are downloadable and can be found at the end of this blog post.
Her expenses make it clear she claimed £2,215.95 for car related travel expenses. Cllr Hollingsbee claims for mileage from her home – TN25 6EB to the Civic Centre CT20 2QY. She states it is 22 miles. Google says it is a 19 miles round trip, as the map below shows. Cllrs can claim 45 pence a mile.
Therefore 19 miles x 45 pence = £8.55, however, Cllr Hollingsbee is claiming £9.90. This means there is an over claim of £1.35 (3 miles) for every journey back and forth between the Council and her home. As an aside, Cllr Clive Goddard’s expenses claims for 2018/19 uses Google’s mileage, it is deemed acceptable to the Council.
Over the year Cllr Hollingsbee mileage over claim adds up to £203.85. In February 2016 former Cllr Peter Simmons made inappropriate expenses claims of £210.15. He lost the whip and was driven out of office. Will the Council investigate Cllr Hollingsbee mileage claims and will her party drive her from office? We think not given the precarious situation her party finds itself in the chamber.
You can download the expenses below and in the column which says “Travel Claimed”, which uses a £ sign, when in fact it is the mileage, clearly supports what we have set out above.
We call upon the Monitoring Officer – Amandeep Khroud (pictured) who is the custodian of Councillors standards, the electors and other persons interested are the custodians of the custodian (Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?) or at any rate her helpmates. As such, we the electors call upon her to initiate an investigation to re-appropriate the overpaid mileage expenses by Cllr Hollingsbee. This would demonstrate and prove Amandeep Khroud is not only the custodian of Cllrs standards, but of the public purse too. We also call upon the opposition to support our call for an investigation into this matter.
This is public money and the amount is not dissimilar to what Cllr Peter Simmons inappropriately claimed. Will Cllr Hollingsbee refund the public purse and make a public apology for doing so? What do you think?
The Shepwayvox Team
Journalism for the People NOT the Powerful