Should Cllr Denise Roberts pay back £3.80 claimed in postage to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority?
Below is a £3.80 claim made by Cllr Denise Roberts when she was on the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority for postage.
Apparently some papers for a Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority meeting were sent to her with the incorrect postage on so she put in an expense claim (on the travel and subsistence form) for £3.80.
The receipt from Royal Mail is included.
Let’s hope Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service know to put the right postage on mail in the future!
She got somebody else working in Merseyside Fire and Rescue Services called Nicholas Pitcher to sign the form on her behalf.
Postage isn’t one of the categories that councillors can usually claim at MFRA as expenses. From allegedly both a legal and constitutional perspective this is wrong too. When the annual list was published for 2015/16 as there is no postage category allowed, it appeared in the travel and subsistence category as you can see from the list published on MFRA’s website.
Her basic allowance of an extra £8,070 for being on the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority is supposed to cover such incidental expenses such as this £3.80 postage but Cllr Denise Roberts chose to claim it back.
At the time of this claim Cllr Denise Roberts was Chair of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority’s Audit Sub-Committee (which is also the Committee at Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority that dealt with complaints about councillors).
Should Cllr Roberts pay the £3.80 back? Please leave a comment giving your view.
Cllr Denise Roberts stopped being on the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority in May 2016 when Wirral Council chose a different councillor to represent the Labour Group from Wirral.
Cllr Denise Roberts is now Chair of Wirral Council’s Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee which has oversight of complaints made about councillors.
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service were quite insistent yesterday that they would not allow us to take away paper copies of Cllr Denise Roberts’ expense claim (which is why the above is a photo). This is despite a legal requirement in the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, s.26(1)(b) that allows us to make copies.
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