Expenses row over hotel bills at St Edmundsbury Borough Council

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The expenses row at St Edmundsbury Borough Council has continued this week with several independent councillors attacking a ‘free for all’.

Tuesday night’s full council meeting looked to ‘clarify’ a policy which said its officers can exceed limits for councillor overnight expenses when in the ‘interests of the council’, a move Cllr David Nettleton said would create a ‘free for all’.

The move came after two councillors – leader Cllr John Griffiths, and Cllr Peter Stevens – both breached overnight expense limits when they stayed at conferences. On both occasions accommodation was booked by officers.

Cllr Griffiths said the amounts exceeded were by less than £200

But independent Cllr Paul Hopfensperger said: “The problem is this is Council Tax payers’ money.”

And fellow independent Cllr Derek Redhead said the limits should be stuck to.

“If it is not enough then make it enough. Set down a limit that is reasonable and feasible,” he said.