MILEAGE rates have been changed for the third time in seven months by councillors after a three-year freeze.
The rate was dropped to 49.6p per mile by West Sussex County Council’s governance committee on Monday (May 12) to keep it in line with AA guidelines.
Councillors said the new rate of 49.6p per mile was not published by the AA until the end of April, meaning they were claiming 7.65p more per mile than they should have been since April 1.
At the meeting, it was agreed it would be a ‘bureaucratic nightmare’ to try to get back extra mileage claimed since April 1, and the new rate would only stand from May 1 onwards.
“It would cost significantly more to try to recover a very small amount of money,” said West Sussex County Council’s head of law and governance Tony Kershaw.
Leader of the council Louise Goldsmith added it was ‘more than reasonable’, not to backdate the new mileage rate to April 1.
Members’ allowances at the council were increased to 59.25p per mile last October after three years held at 53.8p per mile.
However, it was reduced to 57.25p from April 1 onwards after it emerged the figure included 2p per mile for parking and toll roads – for which councillors could also claim separately.
The reduction brings it closer to that claimed by county council staff, who have a mileage rate of 46.9p per mile for the first 8,000 miles.