Ottery councillor’s expenses revealed

Ottery’s county and district councillor continues to claim nothing in expenses while others rack up a princely sum.

Roger Giles said he hasn’t claimed for travel, or any other expenditure, for years either in his role at East Devon District Council, or at Devon County Council.

He said: “It is part of my own personal carbon reduction programme.”

He says he tries to keep his car usage to below 4,000 miles a year, and prefers to use his bus pass or cycle to county hall for Devon County Council business.

But others don’t have the same attitude, claiming thousands of pounds on top of their basic allowances.

Devon County Council spent nearly �100,000 on ‘mileage and subsistence’ in the financial year 2010/11, and EDDC’s most recent figures, for 2009/10 show more than �36,000 was spent.

Speaking about other councillors expense claims, Cllr Giles said: “I don’t want to come across as ‘holier than thou’, what other people choose to do is their business, but it would be good if others councillors took on things like car sharing.”

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Councillor Giles still receives basic allowances and special responsibility allowances for his work at both authorities, but feels he doesn’t need to claim any other monies

The most was claimed by Stuart Hughes, the town, district and county councillor for neighbouring Sidmouth, who received nearly �34,000 in allowances and expenses last year from DCC.

Councillor Hughes, the county’s cabinet member for highways and transportation, claimed �6,345.20 on top of his basic allowance of �10,970.04, and his special responsibility allowance is �16,455, giving a total of �33,770.24.

Add to that the most recent figures for EDDC and he receives nearly �45,000 a year from his positions.

He says the allowances are justified as he is responsible for a �100million budget and 8,000 miles of road network, more than in the whole of Belgium.

Cllr Hughes says he travels around the county and to London frequently and often puts in 60 to 70 hours of work a week. He added: “I’ve got a hell of a workload but I enjoy it. There’s nothing untoward in that.”