Regulations decided by the Scottish Government set out the allowances and expenses councillors can be reimbursed for in carrying out their duties as an elected member. These allow councillors to claim a mileage or travel allowance for agreed duties, such as attending committee meetings, community council meetings or visiting individual constituents requiring help or advice. Additionally, overnight accommodation is reimbursable if a councillor is required to stay overnight away from home, to undertake their duties. This is quite often the case if I have two days of meetings in Inverness, when it is cheaper and more time efficient to stay over, rather than travel up and back to Lochaber. Likewise, covering a huge geographical ward involves attending evening meetings, across the Ardnamurchan peninsula. So rather than leaving a meeting early to catch the last Corran Ferry or drive the long-way round via Lochailort late at night, I choose to stay at a good value local Bed and Breakfast. Since April 2015, councillors have been able to have the cost of lunch taken at council headquarters deducted from their monthly expense payment, this was aimed at saving the council £15,000 per year. I have opted to make this voluntary contribution.
Although councillors annual remuneration and expense payments must by law be published by the Highland Council on a yearly basis, I believe this isn’t sufficient. This report only publishes the overall figures reimbursed, rather than any detail, so I have decided to publish my own expense claims on this website every month so that constituents can see exactly why I have made a particular claim.
Expense Claims 2016/17
Expense Claims 2015/16
April 2015 (submitted with May expenses)