Council bill is third highest

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STAFF at Derbyshire County Council received £7.7m for mileage and car allowance in one year, making the bill the third highest in the country.

The authority shelled out up to 60p per mile to staff who used their cars at work during the 2009 - 2010 financial year, compared with the 40p rate that HM Revenue and Customs recommended for payments to private sector workers.

Only Lancashire and Hampshire paid out more, doling out £8.8m and £8.1m respectively.

Matthew Sinclair, director of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, who produced the report, said: “Ordinary motorists who are feeling the pinch will be shocked that council staff are getting such a generous deal for their mileage claims.”

Vast area

A Derbyshire County Council spokesperson said: “The county council is Derbyshire’s largest employer and we provide services out in the community covering a vast rural area of around 70 miles from north to south and 40 miles across.

“The figures in the report relate to 2009/2010 but over the last financial year we reduced the mileage rate for most staff to 50p per mile and since April 1 this year we’ve reduced it to the lower Government’s recommended rate of 45p per mile.

“We’ve also introduced many measures to reduce staff travel and its associated costs involving using video and teleconferencing where possible, looking at the way we use fleet and pool vehicles and promoting initiatives like care share schemes.”

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