Councillors expenses have fallen for the third year in a row
Councillors in South Lanarkshire cost the tax payer £1.27million in the last financial year.
The county’s 64 councillors were paid a basic salary of £16,893 in 2016/17, but several received additional payments for chairing committees and filling roles with additional responsibility.
The councillors’ salaries were published last Thursday alongside their expenses, which have fallen for the third consecutive year.
Elected representatives of the Rutherglen and Cambuslang area collectively cost £219,280 in wages.
Former councillor Eddie McAvoy received a leader’s salary of £39,419 and Pam Clearie a depute provost salary of £24,546.
Her husband, Russell Clearie, was paid £20,172 as chairman of the Rutherglen and Cambuslang Area Committee.
Across South Lanarkshire Council expenses accrued by elected members totalled £63,231, a drop from £69,042 in 2015/16 and £84,476 in 2014.
The biggest expense to the council continues to be travel, with a total spend of £35,564 on mileage in the last financial year.
The second largest outlay for the council was telephone and information technology usage which amounted to £13,657 for all councillors.
For conferences and training a further £7,310 was paid out.
Councillors across Rutherglen and Cambuslang were amongst some of those who claimed the least in expenses.
Current Labour MP candidate Gerard Killen claimed just £97 for telephone usage, with Robert Brown, Liberal Democrat candidate, claiming £98 for the same purpose.
For mileage Walter Brogan was reimbursed £1,178, Russell Clearie £1,677, Brian McKenna £870 and Dennis McKenna £431.
The civic car, typically used by the leader of the council, cost £54, whilst the provost’s civic car cost £13,047 for the year.
Paul Manning, executive director of finance and corporate resources said: “Elected members have a wide and varied role to play - from attending formal committee meetings in Hamilton to going to meetings and events with constituents and local groups across the South Lanarkshire area.
“Additionally, depending upon their responsibilities, councillors may also attend Scotland-wide groups. Reasonable travelling and subsistence expenses are provided to elected members in order that they can fulfil their role as effectively as possible.”
The amount of members’ remuneration and expenses and the arrangements for paying them are governed by legislation which came into force on April 1, 2015.