MEMBERS of Bracknell Forest Council claimed more than half a million pounds in allowances in the past year, racking up a bill of £580,943.

Leader of Bracknell Forest Council, Paul Bettison, claimed just shy of ten times more in travel allowances than every other member of the council put together.

Cllr Bettison claimed £2,135.55 in travel allowances, and the rest of the council claimed £214.82 together.

Last year, the News discovered that Cllr Bettison had claimed five times more in expenses than anyone else, due to his inability to take the underground when he goes to London, and having to travel in first class when he takes the train.

Alison Sanders, director of Resources, said “Members allowances are published every year to ensure the council is transparent and so residents know how this money is used. We want to support councillors to help residents and an allowance is one of the ways we do this.”

She added: “Bracknell Forest Council has a fair and appropriate expense policy which states councillors may claim for travel and subsistence where expenditure is incurred outside of the borough. 

“Cllr Paul Bettison OBE, leader of Bracknell Forest Council, represents the council both regionally and nationally as set out in the role profile, which is available on our website.

“As a consequence, the leader travels outside of the borough significantly more than other Bracknell Forest councillors, which accounts for the higher amount of expenditure incurred.”