Doncaster Council spends thousands on car to ferry ceremonial mayors around the borough

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Council bosses have defended spending over £30,000 on a car to transport ceremonial mayors around Doncaster since 2015.

Figures published by the TaxPayers' Alliance show the council spent around £23,000 on a Skoda Superb SE L Executive car, along with £1,066 per year on maintenance, £1266 every year for fuel and £560 on insurance.

Coun Majid Khan is the council's Civic Mayor for 2018/2019. Councillors choose a fellow member each year to take up the post. Picture: Marie Caley

Coun Majid Khan is the council's Civic Mayor for 2018/2019. Councillors choose a fellow member each year to take up the post. Picture: Marie Caley

Doncaster ranked the fifth highest spend across Yorkshire & Humber with Hull coming top with a £94,000 spend.

Barnsley were the highest in South Yorkshire shelling out £58,000 maintaining a BMW 3 Series and a Skoda Superb while Rotherham spent £44,000 on a Audi A8 and a Volvo S80.

Neighbouring Sheffield Council spent £9,900 maintaining their 2009 plate Jaguar Sovreign SJ.

Out of 420 councils asked, 166 hadn't spent a penny on a mayoral car while 47 local authorities didn't respond when asked.

Ceremonial mayors are not elected but attend community engagements and charity events on behalf of the council. They carry out hundreds of engagements each year and raise money for charity.

Commenting on the findings, John O'Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Taxpayers are tired of hearing local authorities say they have no money left when there are still instances of excessive spending.

"Some travel will of course be necessary to conduct duties but families who struggle to pay their council tax bill will roll their eyes at the thought of their hard-earned money being spent on Bentleys and Jaguars for politicians to attend functions.

"Some 40 per cent of councils didn't lease or buy cars, so all other local authorities should follow that example and encourage civic leaders to use cheaper forms of transport. Every penny wasted on excessive travel expenses is money that could be going towards social care or bin collections."

Dave Wilkinson, assistant director of trading and property services said: “The civic mayor carries out hundreds of duties in the community each year in Doncaster and needs to get around the borough to do so.

"We know that we must ensure spending on transport is proving value for money so we have bought one car at a competitive price after going out to the market. We aim to keep costs as low as possible and that includes maintenance and insurance."