The media has reported today that experienced Councillor Ruth Potter has quit Labours ruling Council Cabinet in York. The decision comes only 6 months after she took up the post and against a background of increased criticism of Labours cavalier attitude towards consultation and expenses.
Labour cabinet members in York have already run up a £3750 bill for travel and hotel expenses in just 5 months.
1. Alexander £1,213.20
2. Gunnell £1,009.20
3. Simpson Laing £596.90
4. Crisp £518.20
5. Looker £295.35
6. Potter £67.50
7. Merrett £25.40
8. Fraser £24.30
• Total £3,750.05
The figure far exceeds anything claimed by leading Councillors over the last 10 years. It includes the now infamous visit to the Britain in Bloom awards ceremony, at the £119 a night St Andrews hotel in Scotland, by not one but 2 Labour Councillors. They were accompanied by 3 officials. Wouldn’t have been so bad if Cllrs Looker and Crisp had actually done anything to support the Britain in Bloom entry but it was all done and dusted by the time they took office.
Biggest individual claim came from Cllr Gunnell who handed over £954.00 of taxpayers money for the privilege of attending “The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy Annual Conference”.
Meanwhile Cllr Alexander has been to roving the country at taxpayers expense. Trips to Leeds, London, Birmingham, Wakefield, Halifax, Durham, Sunderland, Scarborough, Doncaster, Thirsk, Skipton and Huddersfield have added up to an eye watering £1213 bill for taxpayers. He was even accompanied to Lewisham by Cllr Looker as they apparently both needed to see a “mobile phone service for reporting graffiti”.
Meanwhile Cllr Crisp has visited Blackpool twice. Something that leading Councillors from York managed to avoid during the previous 10 years!
NB. Cllr Alexander has defended the claims saying that Cabinet members have sometimes paid travel costs “including international flights” themselves. We await with incredulity details of which international destinations the Cabinet have been visiting….. and why!