Nearly £1m paid to city councillors
Total of £43,000 claimed in expenses
Taxpayers paid almost £1million to city councillors over the past year in wages and expenses.
A total of £43,000 was claimed in expenses and £911,000 shelled out for salaries for the financial year 2017/18.
The statistics, running from April 2017 to this April, show that 63 elected members in the city received a total of £970,905.
The expenses bill for 2016-17 was £70,003 meaning expenses and salaries made up a combined total £951,980 – up from £908,945 in 2015/16.
But this year’s figures also take in many former councillors from the previous administration who lost their seats in last year’s elections or moved on to other roles.
The city council has a complement of 43 councillors. The highest expenses claimant was again Lord Provost Barney Crockett who claimed a total of £17,134 – of which £10,972 was on travel and £5,196 in subsistence on top of his £28,514 salary.
His depute Alan Donnelly claimed a total of £2,964 while independent Bridge of Don councillor John Reynolds raked back £8,307.
The council’s official civic car cost £16,275 to run for the year.
But sitting SNP councillor Gill Samurai, who represents Dyce, Bucksburn and Danestone, did not claim a penny.
The provost has claimed the largest amount on expenses, but regularly travels abroad for his role.
Mr Crockett, speaking from Norway where he is giving a talk at the North Sea Commission Confer- ence, said: “Almost all of my expenses are for international travel, which I think everyone respects across the chamber as important for flying the flag and banging the drum for the city.
“Internationalisation is becoming increasingly important to the economy of Aberdeen.”
SNP group leader Stephen Flynn said that foreign travel should be more closely scrutinised.
He said: “People will understandably ask questions as to why there has been a huge surge in the travel expenses of the Lord Provost in comparison to his predecessor in the role.
“We have previously been given assurances that a cost benefit analysis of these jaunts abroad will be shared will councillors so I look forward to reading it in full and finding out what the benefits really are.”