A Cornwall Cabinet Minister and Newquay Councillor, Louis Gardner, has claimed a large amount of expenses from Cornwall Council for travel and childcare – for anyone thinking of it, it may make being a councillor an affordable job that fits in nicely with family commitments.

The councillor claimed £6000 in travel and over £7000 in childcare for his one child (£7207.75 to be precise). He comes just behind Council Leader, Linda Taylor, in the league table of councillor expenses. Two other councillors claimed for care: Mebyon Kernow councillor Loveday Jenkin claimed £276 and Nick Craker, claimed £60. 

However, don’t be too alarmed because Councillor Gardner reckons he is the hardest working councillor in Cornwall, so this, he feels, justifies the spend. He is on a little under £50,000 a year, including his special responsibility allowance.

The league table was leaked, according to Cornwall Live, and should be published on the Council website this week (it’s not there yet). However, on the Cornwall Live website, the list is already published.

All councillors receive a basic allowance of around £16,002. Expenses are additional.

For Bude’s councillors, Nicky Chopak seems to have claimed zero expenses, Peter La Broy £259.20 and Shorne Tilbey £342.03, which seems much more reasonable than Councillor Gardner’s.

Or maybe his claim will encourage more councillors with young children to run for election, which could be a good thing?

Let’s have your views.