Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Row over David Parsons' expenses flares up again

The ruling Conservative group on Leicestershire County Council may be regretting its decision to stand by David Parsons. Questions about his expenses continue to flutter around his head like homeless bats.

Today's Leicester Mercury details two more - and Liberal Democrat councillors have asked both of them.

My old colleague from Harborough DC Simon Galton, now the leader of the Lib Dem group on the county council, has asked the first. He wants to know why Parsons has refused to allow EU officials to pass County Hall auditors the records of payments made to him in connection with his work for East Midlands Councils at the EU Committee of the Regions.

The Mercury quotes Simon as saying:
"David Parsons said that releasing these records would clear his name, so why is he still refusing to allow them to be handed over? I think if he's got nothing to hide then he should allow the EU to hand over the records to the council's financial experts."
Mr Parsons answer, as given by the Mercury, is that his lawyers have advised him not to hand the documents to the council's auditors as he has already given the external Standards Board investigators permission to look at them. He denies any wrongdoing and the sums in question have all been repaid.

The second question comes from Lib Dem county councillor Bill Boulter, who asked officers to examine the recently published list of Parsons' journeys in the chauffeur-driven civic car. Looking at a sample 22-month period, they found a further 27 that had not been included.

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