Call for ex civic mayor to resign

Doncaster Mayor Peter Davies
Doncaster Mayor Peter Davies

A TEENAGER has called on a former civic mayor of Doncaster to resign her council seat in a long-running row over her expenses.

Gareth Shanks, who lives in the Wheatley ward represented by Labourc ouncillor Eva Hughes, has started a petition asking her to ‘reconsider her position due to unethical expense claims’.

Coun Hughes has previously been criticised by elected mayor Peter Davies after he learned she had claimed expenses to cover donations made in church collections and for clothes and biscuits while she was carrying out ceremonial duties up until the end of May 2012.

Sixth former Gareth, who is studying A-levels at Danum School Technology College, is a member of the UK Independence Party and national elections officer for the youth section.

He originally submitted an online e-petition to Doncaster Council last month but it was rejected on the grounds ‘the subject matter is inappropriate’.

Said Gareth: “I have called on her to resign from the Wheatley ward because of the expenses she claimned for tights, £36 worth of biscuits and a £10 donation to a church service.

“This is public money and should not be for her own personal gain.

“I’ve already got about 30 signatures asking her to do the right thing and fall on her sword.”

Gareth, who will soon be 18, is already considering standing for Doncaster Council against Coun Hughes when she comes up for re-election.

Coun Hughes, who was unaware of the petition, said: “Up till March 31 2012 the Civic Mayor had an allowance of £17,990 annually and paid all expenses from that. After April 1 the allowance was changed to £12,000 and I could claim out-of-pocket expenses. They include clothes, tickets for events, raffle tickets, flowers, donations and so on.

“This is the background, so why would I resign?

“Perhaps once the young man knows the facts he will see that he is wasting his time.”

The role of civic mayor is the ceremonial head of the local council and it falls to the post-holder to represent the council at a range of formal functions.