Councillor expense claims have more than halved in a year.

In 2013, 20 out of 69 Kirklees councillors claimed for travel and food costs totalling £9,362.57.

But for 11 months of 2014 the expenses claims were £4,031.37 made by 15 out of 69 councillors.

Clr Mehboob Khan, Kirklees Council leader for the first two months of the year, claimed more in expenses in two months than his successor, Clr David Sheard, who stepped into office in March, has claimed since.

In December, Kirklees councillors axed some of their entitlement to claim expenses by voting to end a right to claim 50% of travel and subsistence costs for attending party political conferences.

Clr Andrew Cooper, who proposed the axe, said: “It isn’t a large amount of money but it’s a reputational issue and something I think we should stop doing, particularly at a time when we are cutting services all over the place.”

Rules mean councillors can claims for travel, subsistence (food and drink) and carers’ allowance.

All 69 councillors receive a basic allowance of £12,566, with special responsibility allowances for those with extra duties, ranging from £25,155 for the leader to £1,277 for panel members.

The Examiner also asked for details of any expense claims made by the chief executive, directors and assistant directors and Kirklees said just one claim of £8.60 for a rail fare was made by an assistant director.

Councillor claims by party were:


Clr Eric Firth: January £121.50 for a NAC course of partnerships in Carlisle; April £82.30 for an NAC course in Scarborough; July £78.30 for an NAC meeting in Lytham St Annes.

Clr Peter McBride: January £30.25 for four events in Leeds including Combined Authority and transport meetings and one in Manchester of Rail North leaders; February £37.20 for four events in Leeds, including Leeds City Region meetings and a Labour leaders meeting; August £15.60 for three meetings in Leeds for the Combined Authority and planning portfolios meeting; October £16.40 for two meetings in Leeds; November £52.05 for three meetings, two in Leeds and one in Brighton.

Clr Mehboob Khan: January £1,025.93 for eight Local Government Association (LGA) or transport meetings in London, Leeds and Newcastle; February £405.82 for five meetings in Leeds, Manchester and London.

Clr Peter O’Neill: February £3 for a Yorkshire and Humber education summit; March £73.35 for a Duke of Edinburgh Awards event in London.

Clr Cath Harris: March £28.65 for a Duke of Edinburgh Awards event in London.

Clr Ken Smith: May six claims for £99.80 for five Police and Crime Panel meetings in Wakefield. Claims were for October, November and December 2013; plus February, March and April 2014.

Clr David Sheard: May six claims for £80.61 for six events in Leeds including Combined Authority and City Region events; July £73.87 for six events in Leeds and Bradford, including meeting chief executive and leader of Bradford Council, plus Combined Authority meetings; October £77.36 for attending a City Lab conference in Los Angeles.

Clr Cathy Scott: July £65.23 for attending LGA annual conference in Bournemouth.

Clr Karen Rowling: July £28.50 for attending LGA annual conference in Bournemouth.

Clr Graham Turner: August £25.30 for attending introduction to local government finance course in Oldham.


Clr Robert Light: January £13.50 to attend a Combined Authority meeting in Leeds; April £30 to attend an LGA and Combined Authority meetings in Leeds; August £297.80 to attend seven meetings, including four Combined Authority meetings, an LGA seminar and conference; November £155.15 for three events, a LGA councillors forum in London and two Combined Authority meetings in Leeds.

Clr David Hall: April £78.85 for travel to two meetings in Wakefield, including a Conservative leaders meeting and a Police and Crime Panel meeting.

Liberal Democrat:

Clr Kath Pinnock: June £37.50 for attending Lib Dem local government conference.

Clr Nicola Turner: June £37.50 for attending Lib Dem local government conference; July £147.65 for attending Lib Dem local government conference in Milton Keynes.


Clr Andrew Cooper: January £260.70 to attend LGA meetings in London; March £498 for travel to a debate on renewable heating and a LGA environment board meeting; June £38.70 to attend a LGA environment and housing board; July £14.10 to attend an LGA conference in Bournemouth and LGA environment and housing board meeting in London.