Welwyn Hatfield councillor calls for mileage rate cut
A CALL for a drastic reduction in “self-indulgent mileage rates” has been made by opposition councillors.
Welwyn Hatfield Council is paying out almost 59p a mile – for all but the smallest cars – to councillors claiming back trips they have completed in their official roles.
Its current mileage rate is 42.9p per mile for engines under 1 litre, 46.9p per mile under 1.2 litres, and 58.7p per mile for engines over 1.2 litres.
That compares to the statutory 40p- a-mile rate approved by HM Revenue & Customs, that many firms use when their employees claim on company business.
Louise Lotz, Liberal Democrat councillor for Peartree, said: “A rate of 58p per mile – for all but the smallest cars – is generous.
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“At a time when the council is facing making cuts of around �1.7m per year, it is unreasonable to pay this self-indulgent mileage rate.
“The usual rate is 40p per mile and that seems quite sufficient.
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“I don’t know who thought 58p per mile was reasonable.
“The rates could reward councillors for travelling more and for using larger cars. That’s not environmentally friendly and councillors should be setting a good example.
“It is the highest rate in Hertfordshire and it should be cut immediately.”
A Welwyn Hatfield Council spokesman said: “Members’ mileage is agreed by an independent renumeration panel each year made up of independent local people who also agree the members’ allowances each year.
“The mileage amount will be reviewed by the independent panel as normal, but they will do this with the council’s budget in mind.”