Councillors urged to publish ALL expenses
SCOTTISH Borders councillors are being urged to publish all the expenses they receive as members of outside bodies and organisations as well as their allowances and expenses for carrying out council work.
Hawick councillor David Paterson successfully put forward a motion to that effect when Scottish Borders Council met last week.
According to Councillor Paterson some councillors "get handsomely paid for their work on COSLA and on the health board, but their expenses are not made available".
"Why shouldn't all the expenses that councillors claim when they are sitting on outside bodies be made available for the public to scrutinise?" asked Councillor Paterson.
"What is wrong with the public knowing what we get for expenses, after all it is all public money."
Councillor Paterson was supported in his call, for all money claimed to be made openly available, by Councillor Nicholas Watson of the Borders party and no councillors opposed the motion.
One of the councillors he singled out was East Berwickshire councillor Michael Cook who is a member of COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities).
Councillor Cook responded saying: "The salaries paid to office holders within CoSLA are disclosed publicly. While I was willing in a spirit of clarity to say what I receive, this would not have been disclosable under the terms of what he was asking for. The reason for that is that I wasn't appointed to the role by Scottish Borders Council. I was elected to the role from within the independent group within CoSLA. His interest was in relation to council appointments.
"I think the question of the proper use of public money is the important thing."
Scottish Borders Council published the allowances paid to councillors during 2008/09 which totalled over 750,000. They have to make the allowances public by June 1, under the Local Government (Allowances and Expenses) (Scotland) Regulations 2007 and as well as reporting the allowances at last Thursdays meeting of the full council, they are also posted on the council's website.
Councillors received a pay rise of 2.5 per cent in April 2008, increasing the basic allowance rate from 15,452 to 15,838. The leader's salary increased from 30,905 to 31,678 and the convener's increased from 23,179 to 23,759.
As well as their allowances councillors are also entitled to claim for travelling expenses (mileage rates reduced in February this year from 49.3p to 40p) and their telephone and ICT expenses are paid directly.
In 2007/08 a total of 818,538 was paid out to councillors, but this included 120,00 of severance payments to councillors standing down prior to council elections, a sum funded by the Scottish Government.
East Berwickshire councillor expenses: Councillor Michael Cook (executive member for economic improvement) - salary 23,550, mileage 3,989, subsistence 10, telephone and ICT 1,276, other expenses 1,417, total = 30,242; Councillor Jim Fullarton (executive member for roads and infrastructure) - salary 20,478, mileage 6,291, telephone and ICT 1,094, other expenses 6, total = 27,869; Councillor David Raw (executive member for social work) - salary 23,550, mileage 5,163, telephone and ICT 1,137, other expenses 5, total = 29,855.
Mid Berwickshire councillor expenses: Councillor Trevor Jones (vice chairman planning and building standards) - salary 15,821, mileage 2,548, telephone and ICT 1,028, total = 19,397; Councillor Donald Moffat (chairman of scrutiny) - salary 17,663, mileage 2,868, telephone and ICT 1021, other expenses 351, total = 21,903; Councillor Frances Renton (charman of Berwickshire Area Committee) - 15,821, mileage 3,680, telephone and ICT expenses 737, other expenses 94, total = 20,332.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Duns
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 7 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 3 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: West