County council’s mileage bill is the third highest

STAFF at Derbyshire County Council received £7.7m for mileage and car allowance in one year, making the bill the third highest in the country.

The authority shelled out up to 60p per mile to staff who used their cars at work during the 2009 - 2010 financial year, compared with the 40p rate that HM Revenue and Customs recommends for payments to private sector workers.

Only Lancashire and Hampshire paid out more, doling out £8.8m and £8.1m.

Matthew Sinclair, director of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, who produced the report, said: “Ordinary motorists who are feeling the pinch will be shocked that council staff are getting such a generous deal for their mileage claims.”

Other authorities paying 60p per mile during 2009/2010 included Amber Valley Borough Council, who paid out £145,254 and Derbyshire Dales District Council who paid £77,804.

A county council spokesperson said: “The county council is Derbyshire’s largest employer and we provide services out in the community covering a vast rural area of around 70 miles from north to south and 40 miles across.

“Over the last financial year we reduced the mileage rate for most staff to 50p per mile and since April 1 this year we’ve reduced it to the lower Government’s recommended rate of 45p per mile.”

A district council spokesman said: “We have the lowest spend and we have the largest geographical area. The rates we pay are agreed nationally.”