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NEARLY £30,000 in travel expenses has been saved by Ceredigion County Council during the pandemic.

In the latest report on member allowances no councillor claimed travel expenses – with covid-19 lockdowns meaning most of us had to stay at home unless key workers.

Online meetings took over in 2020 resulting in the 2019-20 travel allowance total of £27,311 being reduced to absolutely nothing for 2020-21.

There were also no subsistence claims made last year, compared to just £47.51 the previous year, and £340 in 2018-19.

In 2018-19 the total travel allowance paid out was £31,319, and – as in all years – there were some councillors who did not make any claims.

The total amount paid in basic salary councillors in 2020-21, including the increased pay for chairman of committees, was £326,610 and for senior councillors, including council leader and cabinet members, the total was £482,920 – a total of £795,313.

There is a variation in the basic salaries of Ceredigion councillors with some having forgone a percentage of pay increases recommended by the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales over the years.

The local authority’s statement of accounts 2020-21 has not been “signed and certified” by the responsible financial officer, its website states, due to the covid-19 outbreak.

This has meant the “Council has diverted resources to other services and the statement of accounts has not yet been prepared. The statement of accounts will be prepared and the Responsible Financial Officer will sign and certify the statement of accounts when work pressures allow.”

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