Mileage curb pleas to council officials

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Calls have been made to slash mileage rates paid to council officials in a bid to save thousands of pounds.

Leeds City Council officers can claim up to 65p per mile for every mile they cover in their own cars while at work.

But a councillor claims mileage rates should be reduced in line with the taxman’s approved rate of 45p per mile.

Councillor Stewart Golton, leader of the city’s Liberal Democrat group, said bringing the mileage rates in line with HMRC’s guidelines could save the authority nearly £500,000.

The outrage comes after West Yorkshire Fire Service revealed plans to cut their mileage rates to 45p for people who use their own cars for business.

Coun Golton (Lib Dem, Rothwell) said: “There is no reason why the council should be shelling out to its highest paid officers a gold-plated mileage rate when we’re supposed to be making sure the most vulnerable are looked after in this time of economic crisis.

“The council talks about how its budgets are so stretched looking at cutting certain services.

“It should have a look a bit closer to home first.”

Coun Golton said the move could see the authority save nearly £500,000 which could be ploughed into preserving under-threat services in the city.

He added: “In light of the fire service’s decision, this gold-plated perk looks increasingly indefensible.”

A spokeswoman from Leeds City Council said: “We take our responsibilities to our staff and the taxpayers of Leeds very seriously and are committed to saving money wherever possible.

“The current mileage allowances are part of employees’ terms and conditions of employment, in line with national NJC (National Joint Council) conditions of service paid by local authorities, which we are contractually committed to.”