Published: May 23, 2009
Burnham-On-Sea councillors' expense claims revealed

Sedgemoor District CouncilThe expense claims of district councillors living in the Burnham-On-Sea area has been unveiled this week.

The records show Sedgemoor District Councillors claimed £315,884 in expenses over the last year, which was nearly £2,000 up on the previous year, although the 2008-09 total includes claims from two members who were not on the list in 2007-08.

Council leader Duncan McGinty received most, claiming £20,578.32, which he put down to the high amount of travel he does.

Burnham councillor Cllr Dennis Davey (Burnham North) claimed a total of £10,616.22, which includes £3,999.96 for his basic allowance, plus £4,839.96 to cover his additional responsibilities as the former Chairman.

Brent Knoll councillor Cllr Bob Filmer claimed £7,038.60 which included £1,188.60 for travel expenses, which he put down to the high number of meetings he attends.

Cllr Eric Gill (Burnham South) put in a claim for £227 of travel costs in a total claim for £4,226.96. Cllr Neville Jones (Burnham North) claimed £4,852.11 which included travel costs of £750.

Cllr Mike Mansfield (Burnham South) claimed £201.60 for travel in a total claim of £4,211.91. Cllr Arthur Thorogood (Burnham South) claimed £184.80 for travel in a total claim of £4,184.76. Cllr Peter Burridge-Clayton (Burnham North), who has an allowance of £3,999.96, claimed the full amount, but this did not include anything for travel.

In Highbridge, Cllr John Laband claimed just the basic allowance of £3,999.96, while Cllr Joe Leach claimed £6,797.45 comprising £130.40 for travel and an allowance of £2,667.09 for his extra council responsibilities. Cllr Danny Titcombe claimed a total of £4,169.54.

Cllr Tony Grimes (Berrow) put in a claim for £4171.16, which included £171.20 for travel. Cllr Diana Bayliss (Wedmore & Mark) claimed £3,763.96, including expenses of just £64. Cllr Richard Burden (Wedmore & Mark) claimed £60.80 for travel in a total claim of £4,060.76.

A district council spokeswoman stressed that 91 per cent of the 'expenses' are in fact salary which is taxed, meaning the only true 'expenses' are for travel and subsistence. Travel is paid at a rate of 40p per mile, which is far less than many business organisations. Overnight accommodation and subsistence is paid at a like-for-like rate and receipts are required.

Click here to see the expense claims for the last six years [Excel document]




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