Councillor Alistair Cranston is quite frankly an utter disgrace. He is guilty of making mileage claims which he was not entitled to and he should resign immediately.
To have one or two expenses claims disallowed is careless but to have almost 50 rejected by Scottish Borders council is totally unbelievable. He may have got away with blaming stupidity during his recent run-in with the standards commissioner which led to a three-month council ban, but this time it just won’t wash. No-one can be this stupid.
If this had taken place in the private sector, Mr Cranston would have been sacked on the spot and would now be facing a criminal investigation.
Why should the public purse pay Mr Cranston’s mileage to functions at his former rugby club, various Common-Riding events which have nothing at all to do with his role as a councillor, and to claim mileage to hand in mileage claim forms is just simply one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard.
This latest sorry episode in Mr Cranston’s political career isn’t just of his own making, though. SBC must accept responsibility here for paying these expenses to which he was not entitled.
Mr Cranston should do the right thing here and quit. SBC should re-examine the claims he has made since he was elected and he should be made to pay back every penny he claimed that he wasn’t entitled to.
Lastly, congratulations to both your reporter and yourself for bringing this appalling abuse to light.
The revelations in the Hawick News last week about Councillor Cranston’s expenses certainly gave us plenty to talk about.
One would have thought that by now all politicians would know exactly what they are entitled to claim, especially after recent scandals where some MPs have gone to jail.
Councillor Cranston wass keen to point out there had been no attempt at dishonesty but he is in a position of trust and totally responsible for ensuring that his claims for expenses are for what he is entitled to and nothing more.
This does not appear to have been the case, he has been caught out and the matter should be investigated. In any other employment if this had happened he would have been sacked.
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