Which councillor claimed £72.05 for a dinner?

Which councillor claimed £72.05 for a dinner?

Which councillor claimed £72.05 for a dinner?

                                                            

Cllr Leslie Byrom Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority meeting 30th June 2015
Cllr Leslie Byrom Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority meeting 30th June 2015

 

Above is Cllr Leslie Byrom, Vice-Chair of the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority. He is one of the Labour representatives from Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council. Some readers may recognise him as the councillor who chaired the public meeting when councillors decided to close Upton and West Kirby fire stations.

Last year he submitted an expense claim to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service. You can see this expense claim and the accompanying receipt below.

Cllr Leslie Byrom expense claim September 2014 page 1 of 2
Cllr Leslie Byrom expense claim September 2014 page 1 of 2
Cllr Leslie Byrom expense claim September 2014 page 2 of 2
Cllr Leslie Byrom expense claim September 2014 page 2 of 2

So, as you can see from the above the hotel receipt is for one night bed and breakfast (£100) and dinner (£72.05) which comes to a total of £172.05.

On the claim form however, despite Cllr Byrom signing a declaration that “I declare that I have actually and necessarily incurred additional expense” this £172.05 amount becomes £180. Someone has reduced the value of the claim £180 to £172.05.

Dinners costing £72.05 are of course technically within the expense claiming rules as if you read page 202 councillors can claim up to £180 for a subsistence allowance for stays in London.

However under the expenses system had Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service paid his accommodation directly, Cllr Byrom would’ve only been allowed to claim up to £47.81 for meals (a daily allowance of £56.82 minus £9.01 for the cost of breakfast).

As to whether spending £72.05 on a dinner is necessary. On an earlier stay at the same hotel, Cllr Leslie Byrom’s dinner was only £45.70 (see below).

Cllr Leslie Byrom hotel invoice February 2014
Cllr Leslie Byrom hotel invoice February 2014
Cllr Leslie Byrom expenses February 2014
Cllr Leslie Byrom expenses February 2014

As you can see he didn’t claim for the cost of the £45.70 dinner for that trip, but someone at Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service has increased the value of the claim to include it anyway!

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