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Council must come clean over Lord Hanningfield’s Expenses

November 27, 2012 6:06 PM

THIS RELEASE HAS BEEN ISSUED BY THE LEADER OF THE LIBERAL DEMOCRAT COUNCILLORS ON ESSEX COUNTY COUNCIL - WHO IS ALSO LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION AT COUNTY HALL.

Essex County Council is being challenged for a full explanation as to how former Leader, Lord Hanningfield, was allowed to claim £287,000 expenses between 2005 and 2010 to fund his extravagant lifestyle. The Liberal Democrat Opposition on the Council has put down a motion for the 11 December Council meeting.

As Conservative Leader, Lord Hanningfield wined and dined at the most expensive restaurants, hotels and bars and visited 24 countries, all at the expense of Essex council taxpayers.

Leader of the Opposition, Liberal Democrat Councillor Mike Mackrory, said:

"Having gone through all 57 pages of these claims, I am frankly astonished that he was allowed to continue claiming for six years, when clearly the vast majority of claims had no justification whatsoever. This is despite me raising my concerns with the Chief Executive in 2007, when I received anonymous information that Finance Department staff were concerned about highly dubious expenses claims.

"I was told then it would be dealt with, but he continued claiming for a further three years before resigning, but only because of his House of Lords expenses. The council taxpayers of Essex need answers and want their money back."