A total of £8,717.77 claimed by borough representatives

Wigan Town Hall
Wigan Town Hall
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Councillors racked up thousands of pounds in travel and other expenses during the last financial year, figures from the town hall show.

The borough’s elected representatives claimed a total of £8,717.77 in expenses in addition to the allowances given to every member of the chamber and the special responsibility money given to those in senior positions in 2016-17.

With the basic allowance for councillors set at £12,166.09 opposition activists said on social media that the annual bill for doing politics in the borough comes to more than £1m.

The largest expenses apart from standard allowances were racked up by cabinet members, with portfolio holder for adult social care Coun Keith Cunliffe leading the way by claiming £2,194.54.

Jo Platt, who was in the ruling cabinet before she stepped down to become Leigh MP at the general election, was next with £1,024.20.

The third-largest amount was claimed by Coun Kevin Anderson with £939.15.

Council leader Lord Peter Smith was among the representatives who claimed no travel or other expenses but his special responsibility allowance of £42,639.63 was by far the largest. A total of 50 elected representatives claimed no travel or other expenses during 2016-17.

As it is for the financial year the list includes councillors who did not stand in the most recent election or lost their seats as well as those who came into the chamber in 2017. Wigan Council said elected representatives only receive travel allowances for journeys made outside the borough.

Allowances are reviewed every four years by the Independent Remuneration Panel.

The full list of councillors claiming no travel or other expenses in 2016-17 is: Couns Martin Aldred, David Arrowsmith, Richard Barber, Paul Blay, Robert Bleakley, Bill Clarke, Paul Collins, Ron Conway, Michael Crosby, Phyll Cullen, Michael Dewhurst, Shirley Dewhurst, Patricia Draper, Damian Edwardson, Debbie Fairhurst, Susan Greensmith, Terence Halliwell, John Hilton, Jamie Hodgkinson, Ed Houlton, Kath Houlton, Lol Hunt, Steve Jones, Stuart Keane, Philip Kelly, Paul Kenny, Sue Loudon, Joanne Marshall, Michael McLoughlin, James Moodie, Sam Murphy, Stephen Murphy, Nathan Murray, Jeanette Prescott, Paul Prescott, Kelly Ready, Nazia Rehman, Charles Rigby, Janice Sharratt, Margaret Skilling, Martyn Smethurst, Peter Smith, Pamela Stewart, Carl Sweeney, Jim Talbot, Barry Taylor, Anita Thorpe, Fred Walker, Myra Whiteside, Ray Whittingham, Michael Winstanley.