Wrexham Council’s Chief Executive, who is paid at least £109,000 a year, claimed 18 miles of motoring expenses to attend the last Remembrance Sunday in Wrexham.
Yesterday we revealed the result of Wrexham.com’s specially requested session to examine receipts and invoices for Councillors on the Executive Board – showing that one claimed £1.35 for the same event. Today we can reveal that we also inspected Wrexham Council’s Chief Executive (Dr Helen Paterson) expense forms and associated receipts and noted that she claimed mileage to attend Remembrance Sunday, and a similar amount to attend Armed Forces Day.
The claims are legal and in accordance with the rules.
The Chief Executive’s pay is not precisely known, however it is stated by the Council as being in the range of £109,000 to £125,000 a year.
As readers will have noted yesterday Wrexham.com uniquely exercised the rules that allow anyone to ‘inspect and make copies of the accounts and all books, deeds, contracts, bills and vouchers and receipts relating thereto’ of the Council for the latest financial year, allowing access to previously unseen information.
Dr Paterson’s form for November 2014 contained £94.32 of expenses claims, with £2 allocated for parking, £42.32 on subsistence and £50 on ‘fares and other expenses’. On the form a total of 32 miles were claimed as expenses, with 18 being specific to the attendance at Remembrance Sunday.
As with Councillor Bob Dutton yesterday, we asked Dr Helen Paterson why she believes it is appropriate to claim mileage expenses to attend Remembrance Sunday in Wrexham.
Dr Helen Paterson responded to the query saying: “All my travel expenses claims are made in line with our policy.”
Wrexham Council’s website describes the role of Chief Executive as being life encompassing: “The Chief Executive post is a full time role with no fixed office hours, as the nature of the post requires total flexibility and working unsociable hours to meet the demands of the Authority and the people of Wrexham.
“This frequently includes evening meetings, weekend work and civic engagements.”
Picture: Thanks to the Daily Post for letting us use their picture of the service last year showing Dr Helen Paterson, and then Mayor Cllr Alan Edwards. Wrexham.com did ask to request the Mayor’s expenses forms however transport is provided by the Mayor’s Office so there are no personal expenses claimed.