After being re-elected to serve the people of Howdenshire once again in May of last year, and after a very different, but immensely satisfying and productive year as an East Riding of Yorkshire Councillor – as part of my commitment to openness and transparency - the time has come for me to once more publish the expenses that I have claimed during the year. The following details all the monies I have received during 2011/12.
I have received my basic councillor allowance of £10,711.00 plus an additional allowance of £310.23 which was for a short period where I was as Chairman of the Goole and Howdenshire Local Action Team at the beginning of the year. (these payments are subject to tax and national insurance).
I have again driven approximately 3,000 miles as a Councillor, many of which have been to evening meetings, in addition to the daytime meetings at County Hall and other places, I am able to reclaim expenses to cover the cost of travel when on council business and during the year I have claimed and received total of £1,450:00 for which detailed claim forms and receipts were submitted.
I am also entitled to an IT allowance to purchase computer equipment over the 4-year term of office, and an annual IT maintenance allowance. This year I was only paid my IT maintenance allowance of £143:00.
I have claimed no expenses for food or subsistence whatsoever, as I would not ask the taxpayer to feed me.
Looking back over the past year, there have again been many weeks I have worked over 40 hours in my Councillor role. As many of you know I represent Howdenshire, which is one of the largest wards geographically in the East Riding that stretches to 15 Parishes.
As a further measure of the work as a Councillor, I have received over 4,230 emails (excluding the junk emails) and sent 1,728 from my personal Councillor email address in the past year (both of which are up on previous years). This is in addition to the large number of phone calls and letters.
I stated earlier that I was Chair of the Goole and Howdenshire Local Action Team (LAT) at the beginning of the year - before being removed from the position by the Leader of the Council; but the LAT was replaced by the Goole and Howdenshire Community Partnership before the end of the year. The Chairman of this new body became an elected position rather than an appointed role (it also became unpaid), it was therefore particularly satisfying to be elected to chair the new Partnership by the partners represented and representatives of the Parish & Town Councils in Goole and Howdenshire.
I have been immensely proud and privileged to have worked with some fantastic people over the year, including residents, Parish Councils, community groups, fellow Councillors, Council & partner officers, businesses and voluntary sector groups. The year has not been without its frustrations particularly around such things as the Gilberdyke Tip and wind farm companies, but conversely I have been able to achieve much in helping residents and others in my role as an East Riding of Yorkshire Councillor - which continues to be immensely satisfying.