Relief over council pay

A HUNMANBY councillor has expressed his relief at cuts to drive down county council car mileage rates.

North Yorkshire County Council has slashed its councillor payments from 47p to 40p after mounting pressure from lobbying groups.

Cllr Harvey previously obtained a Freedom of Information Act revealing more than 12 million car miles were claimed during a 12 month period costing the taxpayer more than £5.6million.

He said: “It shocked me the huge mileage claims being submitted at both county and borough level and the high rates of mileage claims being paid.

“It was also shocking the low level of use being made by councillors and staff while on council business of public transport.

“It is no surprise really as there is no incentive to use public transport if you are financially better of using your own car.”

However, Cllr Harvey said Scarborough Council was still using its essential car users allowance and called for its end to get more people using public transport.

He added: “I did my research and found other local councils pay mileage rates at 40p per mile.

“Last year 126 Scarborough Council staff were paid that allowance amounting to £103,880 and were then paid 40.9p a mile meaning a further payment of £108,605.

“The total paid was £212,485 for driving 265,538 miles which equates to a cost of 80p per mile.

“If the County Council can abolish essential car users allowance, it also could be done at Scarborough Council.

“While I welcome the £20,000 saving planned as a starting point, the saving could have been £106,270 more if all staff are paid at one rate. The saving would in practice be more as greater use would be made of public transport by council staff by lowering the cash payment per mile it is more likely staff would use public transport.”