Hawick’s six Scottish Borders Councillors cost the public purse £123,197.41 in the last financial year.
And the total cost for all 34 Borders councillors was £757,172.75. The expediture includes salary, car travel, information technology, telephone as well as training and conference costs.
Councillor Davie Paterson, Hawick and Hermitage environmental portfolio holder, tops the list again with allowances and expenses totalling £26,307.01, with the lowest claim coming from Councillor Watson McAteer who clawed back no travelling expenses in his total claim of £14,966.37.
Councillor Paterson’s claim works out at more than £505 per week and he was the only Hawick councillor who made a claim under the heading ‘training and conference’ totalling £459.
Councillor Alastair Cranston’s claim came to £18,340.37 which is £352.70 per week. Planning portfolio holder Ron Smith claimed £25,280.05 which works out at £486.15 per week, and George Turnbull’s total was £20,077.05 which gives him a weekly total of £386.10. Councillor Stuart Marshall claimed £18,226.56, working out at £350.57 weekly; and Mr McAteer’s total of £14,996.37 amounted to £287.81 per week.
Borders councillors are costing taxpayers an average of more than £425 per week in allowances and expenses, making them the third most costly group of elected representatives in Scottish local government. Only Aberdeenshire councillors on £492 and Edinburgh members with £430 are costing more.
Asked if his £505 per week represents good value, Councillor Paterson did not respond to our request for a comment
Also asked the same question, Mr Marshall replied: “People will always, quite rightly, take a keen interest in councillors’ expenses and I can only hope that those that I represent think that they are getting value for money.”
A full list of allowances and expenses is available on the SBC website.