Councillor in clear over claims dating back two years

A local councillor will not face censure, despite taking almost two years to submit expense claims.

Alastair Cranston, Hawick and Denholm, has a backlog of 15 months’
worth of claims which have not been published on
Scottish Borders Council’s website.

Some of his claims date back to August 2014, and although the local authority said it had received them last week and was in the process of checking and approving them, it would not reveal when they would be made public.

Mr Cranston has admitted to claiming for “daft things” in the past, and made national headlines in 2014 over his £6 claim to
attend the funeral of councillor colleague Zandra
Elliot.

The dates during which his claims are currently unavailable for public scrutiny are August 2014 to January 2015, and July 2015 to March 2016.

A Scottish Borders Council spokesperson said: “Councillor Cranston’s claims were submitted last week.

“Once checked and approved the claims will be uploaded to SBC’s website.

“Members are responsible for submitting their claims timeously and are encouraged to do so. However, there is no deadline for the submission of claim forms.”

SBC did not respond when we we asked if it
was acceptable for an elected member to submit claims in such an “ad hoc fashion”.

Mr Cranston also failedto respond to our request for a statement.