Monday, 14 December 2009

Cornwall Council Chairman's £16,000 taxi bill (Updated)

The Chairman of Cornwall Council has a budget of £16,000 per year just for taxis. This is on top of her basic and special allowances and mileage allowance.

I appreciate the role that the Council Chairman does - attending many events and representing the Council - but Council taxpayers look set to be asked to fork out for a tax rise double the rate of inflation next year thanks to the Conservatives. Surely the Chairman's taxi bill is not the highest priority and could be cut.

Let's be clear, the Chairman has a car and receives a mileage allowance of 50p per mile when she uses it on Council business - so she is not out of pocket. This particular Chairman has made the generous offer that she will not take her full allowances, but the principle remains. There may be exceptional circumstances when a Chairman cannot use a car and needs a taxi. But these have to be the exception rather than the norm.

For £16,000, the Council could buy a brand new car and pay for petrol for a whole year and have change to spare. And at the end of the year there would be an asset to sell or use again.

Note: I've modified this post to make it clear that it is the position of Chairman of Council having this budget that I object to and nothing to do with the current holder of this post.

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