Ascot and the Sunnings councillors expenses claims revealed

Published: 6 Jun 2013 09:300 comments

EXPENSES claimed by Royal Borough councillors representing Ascot and the Sunnings show that only two declined to make out-of-pocket claims last year.

Councillor Christine Bateson

The highest claim was from chief whip, Christine Bateson, who was repaid £1,146.15 travel expenses during the financial year 2012-13.

The seven borough councillors drew a total of £79,612.29 in expenses and allowances between them with

Cllr Bateson's claims of £18,804.07 for 2012/13 topping the list.

Cllr Bateson receives a £7,179.96 basic councillor's allowance and £10,227.96 special responsibility allowance for her role in cabinet as chief whip and community partnerships member of the Windsor rural development control panel.

Cllr Bateson, who has an 88% attendance rate at full council and panel meetings, also claimed £1,146.15 in mileage allowance and £250 ICT allowance. She said: "I go into town hall in Maidenhead at least twice a day. I have meetings with officers and neighbourhood planners more or less once a month. I'm only claiming mileage for half of what travelling I do."

The next highest mileage claim was £734.40 by adult services and health overview and scrutiny panel chairwoman, Sayonara Luxton.

Cllr Luxton said: "We are not allowed to claim expenses for all the travel we do. Most of the time we go to three or four meetings a day and I don't claim mileage for all of them. I only claim mileage if I am going to Maidenhead. If it's within a mile or so, I don't."

Next on the list is Cllr David Hilton, chairman of the crime and disorder overview and scrutiny panel and member of the licensing panel as well as the planning and housing overview and scrutiny panel.

Cllr Hilton, who is also a parish councillor,0 claimed £12,518.89 allowances and £346.50 for mileage. Although councillors have the option to claim for dependent care allowance, none did. Councillors Peter Comber, of Sunninghill and South Ascot ward and John Story, Sunninghill and South Ascot ward member, were the only two councillors not to have claimed any money for mileage or ICT allowance. Cllr Comber, who is also honorary treasurer of Sunningdale Golf Club, said: "After the scandal with the MPs' expenses, I decided not to claim expenses. It's a public service. My colleagues have been very helpful in giving me lifts everywhere possible. We all help each other out on lifts to keep the claims as low as possible. We are keen to minimise the expense to rate payers and we have a good record as a council of cutting costs."

Councillors' expenses in full:

Christine Bateson (Sunningdale ward)

Cabinet member, community partnerships, chief whip and member of development control panel

Basic allowance

£7,179.96

Special responsibility allowance

£10,227.96

Mileage allowance

£1,146.15

ICT allowance

£250

Total payments

£18,804.07

Peter Comber (Sunninghill/S Ascot)

Corporate services scrutiny panel

Basic allowance

£7,179.96

Special responsibility allowance

£345

Mileage allowance

£0

ICT allowance

£0

Total payments

£7,524.96

David Hilton (Ascot/Cheapside)

Member of the licensing panel, plus scrutiny panels for crime/disorder and planning/housing

Basic allowance

£7,179.96

Special responsibility allowance

£4,799.04

Mileage allowance

£346.50

ICT allowance

£0

Total payments

£12,518.89

Sayonara Luxton (Sunningdale)

Member of the licensing panel, plus scrutiny panels for children's services

and adult services/health

Basic allowance

£7,179.96

Special responsibility allowance

£4,649.04

Mileage allowance

£734

ICT allowance

£249.05

Total payments

£12,812.45

Duncan McBride (Ascot/Cheapside)

Member of the licensing panel

Basic allowance

£7,179.96

Special responsibility allowance

£3,719.04

Mileage allowance

£140.40

ICT allowance

£250

Total payments

£11,289.40

John Story (Sunninghill/S Ascot)

Member of the crime/disorder scrutiny panel

Basic allowance

£7,179.96

Special responsibility allowance

£0

Mileage allowance

£0

ICT allowance

£0

Total payments

£7,179.96

Lynda Yong (Sunninghill/S Ascot)

Deputy lead member for health

Basic allowance

£7,179.96

Special responsibility allowance

£1,860

Mileage allowance

£192.60

ICT allowance

£250

Total payments

£9,482.56

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