Sunday 25th July 2021,
North Yorks Enquirer

Mayoral VFM

June 13, 2021 Town & Parish

Mayoral VFM

  • – an “In My View”article by NIGEL WARD, comparing two Town Mayors in terms of (wait for it!) Value for Money.

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Whitby Town Councillor Linda WILD has been Mayor of Whitby for some time now.

Councillor WILD lives on Church Street in Whitby, less than a mile from the Whitby Town Council Offices.

Reviewing the figures for the last two Council years, 2019/2020 and 2020/2021, and bearing in mind that, throughout the pandemic, the Council has conducted no ‘live’ Council Meetings in the Council Chamber, it is unsurprising that the Whitby Mayor, Councillor Linda WILD, has not travelled a great deal in the performance of her Mayoral duties. She may have popped into the Council Offices once a month to sign the cheques, etc.

This probably explains why she has claimed no travel expenses for the period in question. Zero. Nada. Not one penny. That is highly commendable. Of course, no-one is perfect . . .

Filey Town Councillor Jacqui HOULDEN-BANKS has been Mayor of Filey for some time now.

Councillor HOULDEN-BANKS lives in Stepney Close in Scarborough, roughly seven miles from the Filey Town Council Offices.

For the same period (2019/2020 and 2020/21), and bearing in mind that there have been no ‘live’ meetings of Filey Town Council in the Council Chamber throughout the lockdown period, it surprised me a great deal to learn that the Filey Mayor appears to have travelled rather a lot in the performance of her Mayoral duties – e.g. popping into the Council Offices once a month to sign the cheques, etc.

A monthly 14-mile round trip to Filey and back would amount to 168 miles. At a very generous 45p per mile, that would justify a travel claim of £75.60.

Curiously, though, for the same period in which the Whitby Mayor Councillor Linda WILD claimed absolutely nothing in the way of travel expenses, the Filey Mayor, Councillor Jacqui HOULDEN-BANKS, claimed a total of £1,310.34, including £447.85 for the 2020/21 lockdown year.

At 45p per mile, that would cover 2,912 miles – a round trip from Scarborough to Moscow and back. Or 200 round trips from Scarborough to Filey and back! Of course, I jest. I am not suggesting that the Filey Mayor drove to Moscow and back during lockdown.

According to her Register of Interests, the Filey Mayor, Councillor Jacqui HOULDEN-BANKS, owns and operates a business in Filey.

My thanks to both Whitby Town Clerk Michael KING and Filey Town Clerk David LIDDLE for their very prompt provision of the relevant data. Cheers, chaps!

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