Pressure is mounting on a Blackpool Conservative Party councillor to resign following revelations he received more than £7,000 in allowances for attending only two meetings in the past year. Michael Jebson claimed a total of £7,234.76 in the financial year 2008-09. Of this, £5,803.56 were basic allowance payments – 15 per cent more than the previous year’s basic allowance.
His opponents say he has never been to a full council meeting, and that he should fulfil his duties or resign. “He has received more than £3,500 for attending two meetings,” Labour councillor David Owen told the Blackpool Gazette. “This is obviously an incredible waste of taxpayers’ money.”
The scandal will come as a particular embarrassment to Conservative leader David Cameron, who a fortnight ago made a speech pledging to “take an axe to the many arms of government,” clamp down on expense cheats and bring down the cost of politics before declaring “local government is officially the most efficient part of the public sector.”
Cllr Jebson’s fate is expected to be decided at a meeting of the council tomorrow night. Whether or not he turns up to defend himself is anyone’s guess.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.