Readers shard their thoughts after it was revealed that Cumbria County Council staff spent almost £1million on expenses in the 2020/21 year.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request shows the total spent on purchase/business expenses for council staff up to November 8 as £982,889.82 with the majority of that (92 per cent) being spent on mileage.

Here's what you, the readers, had to say.

Allan Watson said: "Should've been used to keep pool tax bills down. As normal Cumbria County Council was [one] of many that said bills for the year weren't going up much then had the biggest rise in England.

"And we're gonna waste 1.5 million on new courts. For God's sake."

Damien Morris commented on the amount spent on mileage, saying: "Business mileage: £904,846.14 - when over the last 12 months there has been no travel by other organisations [or] companies, [and there have been] zoom and team meetings - with exceptions for emergencies , social services etc.

"Hopefully the government restructure should see that reduce greatly."

In response to the findings, Cumbria County Council explained: "Business expenses in this instance is anything that a staff member spends (potentially from their own finances to get reimbursed at a later date.

"Typical examples will be fuel; hotel stays on council business; stationery.

"The council does not hold purchase/credit cards for this type of expenditure, we have corporate contracts and should staff incur expenses on behalf of the council they reclaim them via payroll expenses (iTrent)."

For 2020/21 the following expenditures were reimbursed to council staff:

  • Meals: £2,362.70
  • Rail fares/taxis: £5,775.42
  • Accommodation: £1,961.59
  • Fuel: £5,395.43
  • Parking: £5,053.58
  • Contribution to desks for home (max £80): £22,178.41
  • Fire Service phone allowance: £6,520.75
  • Business mileage: £904,846.14
  • No details held in General Ledger: £28,795.80