Incredible: Cllr Jones answers that councillors are “trusted” to exercise their judgement over when to use taxis
On Monday evening I asked Councillor Adrian Jones about councillor’s use of taxis during the public question time section of Council meeting. Below is a transcript of the answer he gave to my question (apart from one small section that is unclear) along with a transcript of my supplementary question and answer.
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JOHN BRACE: Thanks, as you said my question is to Councillor Jones.
Each year Wirral Council is required to publish annual totals of what councillors have claimed in travel expenses. Due to contracts with various taxi firms invoicing Wirral Council directly thousands of pounds of expenses weren’t included in the list for 2013/14.
The Members Allowance Scheme states that the use of taxis (or councillors’ own cars) for attending meetings is only permitted where public transport is either not available, or the journey by public transport would be likely to result in unreasonable delay.
For the taxi journeys made by councillors that were not included in the annual published lists for 2013/14 and those made since can you confirm:
(a) each journey was taken where there is no available public transport (or taking public transport would lead to unreasonable delay) and if not will councillors involved be refunding Wirral Council and
(b) what changes will be made so that the expenses for such journeys made in 2014/15 will be included next time the annual lists are published? Thank you.
CLLR ADRIAN JONES (CABINET MEMBER FOR SUPPORT SERVICES): Thank you for your question John.
The Council’s Members Allowance Scheme is detailed in part six of the constitution and paragraph 8(a) deals with travel costs but I’m sure you already know that.
The roles and personal circumstances of Members varies widely as do