Councillors’ allowances come under attack

NILALM110914A1 - Cllr Frank Phillips and Ilkeston chamber of trade president David Thorpe
NILALM110914A1 - Cllr Frank Phillips and Ilkeston chamber of trade president David Thorpe

Travel expenses claimed by certain leading councillors have been attacked as too high by an opposition member.

Figures showing amounts paid to each councillor in 2011 to 2012 were made available to view on Erewash Borough Council’s website this week.

Labour councillor Frank Phillips accused Tories Cllr Robert Parkinson and Cllr Mike Wallis – the highest claimants for travel out of all 51 members – of claiming for journeys not related to their work for Erewash Borough Council.

“Cllr Wallis doesn’t seem to leave his back door without filling out an expense form,” said Cllr Phillips.

“He even filled one out for visiting Long Eaton Chestnut Fair.”

Cllr Wallis, of Borrowash ward, received £1,896.70 in travel allowances.

Cllr Phillips said Cllr Parkinson, of Breaston, claimed for travel to do with his membership of the Local Government Association (LGA).

But council leader Cllr Chris Corbett said: “Every claim they have made has been checked by officers and is in accordance with the rules. They are entitled to claim them.

“Labour are being silly.”

He added that Cllr Parkinson was appointed to the LGA by Erewash Borough Council and so was entitled to claim £1,334.15 for his journeys.

Cllr Corbett’s own allowance – a total of £17,017, the highest of all members – was less than the Labour leader Cyril Stevens received in 2003, he said.

Cllr Wallis was the second highest claimant on £11,300.86, followed by Cllr Carol Hart on £10,553.16.

The highest paid Labour councillor was leader Cllr Alex Phillips on £8,543.67, the seventh highest total claim.