- Councillors have claimed nearly three quarters of a million miles during the last three financial years.
- Councillors total mileage claims are 153% higher than their total official meetings mileage during the last 3 years.
Facts & Figures
There are 72 Councillors elected to North Yorkshire County Council.
Of those 72 Councillors, 64 have made a claim for mileage in the last three financial years.
Collectively, over the last three financial years, Councillors have attended 4,166 official meetings at County Hall in Northallerton.
Over the last three years Councillors, have travelled 287,469 miles to attend official meetings at County Hall at a cost of £114,988 to the taxpayer.
But Councillors have actually claimed for 729,546 miles which has cost the taxpayer £288,380 during the last three years.
All members of the County Council are entitled to claim mileage whilst conducting an ‘approved duty’ on County Council business. There is a lengthy list of Approved Duties in Appendix 1 of this document.
The highest overall claimant for mileage over the three years examined is County Councillor Clara Wood. Councillor Wood lives 36 miles from County Hall.
Councillor Wood claimed for 35,070 miles at a cost of £13,263 over the three financial years examined. This is equivalent to more than three trips to County Hall every week. Councillor Wood sits on the Executive and Ryedale Area Committees.
The highest single mileage claim for 2011/12 was made by County Councillor Clara Wood.
Councillor Wood claimed for 12,132 miles at a cost of £4,533. This is equivalent to more than three-and-a-quarter trips to County Hall every week. Councillor Wood sits on the Executive and Ryedale Area Committees.
The highest single mileage claim for 2010/11 was made by County Councillor John Blackie. Councillor Blackie lives 36 miles from County Hall.
Councillor Blackie claimed for 14,860 miles at a cost of £5,215. This is equivalent to almost four trips to County Hall every week. Councillor Blackie sits on the Pension Fund, Employment Appeals, Richmondshire Area and Scrutiny of Health Committees.
The highest single mileage claim for 2009/10 was made by County Councillor John Blackburn. Councillor Blackburn lives 52 miles from County Hall.
Councillor Blackburn claimed for 12,908 miles at a cost of £4,727. This is equivalent to almost two and a half trips to County Hall every week. County Councillor John Blackburn sits on the Planning and Regulatory Functions, Planning and Regulatory Functions Sub Committee, Appeals, Yorkshire Coast and Moors County Area and Transport, Economy and Environment Overview And Scrutiny committees.
In 2010/11, County Councillor Carl Les claimed for 10,988 miles at a cost of £4,247. Councillor Les lives 6.5 miles from County Hall. Councillor Les sits on the Executive, Chief Officers Appointments and Disciplinary and Richmondshire Area committees. This equates to 845 round trips to County Hall within one financial year.
In 2010/11, County Councillor Caroline Patmore claimed for 13,152 miles at a cost of £4,788. Councillor Patmore lives 8 miles from County Hall. Councillor Patmore sits on the County Committee For Hambleton. This equates to 773 round trips to County Hall within one financial year.
Over the three financial years examined, the top ten claiming Cllrs are as follows:
- Cllr Clara Wood: £13,263 – 35,070 miles
- Cllr Chris Metcalfe: £11,668 – 29,497 miles
- Cllr John Blackburn: £11,317 – 29,383 miles
- Cllr John Watson: £11,258 – 28,310 miles
- Cllr Carl Les: £10,836 – 28,945 miles
- Cllr John Fort: £10,545 – 26,543 miles
- Cllr Jim Clark: £10,187 – 25,529 miles
- Cllr Caroline Patmore: £9,513 – 24,965 miles
- Cllr David Jeffels: £8,770 – 21,925 miles
- Cllr Robert Heseltine: £8,648 – 21,620 miles
County Councillor Patrick Mulligan, the husband of Julia Mulligan, the North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner comes in at eleventh. Councillor Mulligan claimed for 20,720 miles at a cost of £8,288. County Councillor Patrick Mulligan sits on the Audit, Pension Fund, Craven Area and Young People Overview and Scrutiny committees.
Sources and Further Information
The mileage spreadsheet contains a list of mileage payments made over the last three financial years. It was gathered from documentation available on the NYCC website. The first four columns of the spreadsheet are self-explanatory. I will give some information on how I’ve constituted the data for the rest of the columns.
E ‘Dist’: This is the distance in miles for a trip from the home address of the Councillor to County Hall in Northallerton and back. The data was acquired from the AA Route Finder. The distance was rounded up to the nearest mile.
G, L & Q ‘Meet’: This is the number of official meetings which the Councillor has attended as part of their duties. The data was acquired from the NYCC website.
H, M & R ‘Miles’: This is the distance each Councillor has covered attending official meetings. The data was acquired by multiplying columns G, L or Q with column E.
I, N & S ‘Claim’: This is the amount of money each Councillor has claimed for mileage. The data was acquired from the NYCC website.
J, O & T ‘Dist’: This is the distance each Councillor has claimed in mileage. If the amount in columns I, N & S was under £4,000, then this figure is multiplied by 0.4 (ie 40p/mile). If the figure is over £4,000, then the first £4,000 equates to 10,000 miles. Above £4,000 the figure is multiplied by 0.25 to give the total distance claimed in mileage.
K, P & U ‘Diff’: This is the difference between total mileage claimed in columns J, O & T and distance covered to attend official meetings in columns G, L & Q.
F ‘Diff’: This is the total difference in mileage over the three financial years. The data was acquired by adding columns K, P & U together.
Article first posted to Real Whitby on March 5 2013.