Council’s Director Of Finance Explains Expenses

Director of Finance, Peter Lawrence-Roberts

The Council’s Director of Finance claimed around £18,000 in expenses last year.

Peter Lawrence-Roberts says it forms part of the package he was offered when he took the job, which earns a £70,000 salary.

A freedom of information request has revealed that Mr Lawrence-Roberts, who has a contractual arrangement allowing him to work from his mainland home for part of the week, claimed £4,158 for helicopter travel, £4,001 in mileage and over £700 in car parking fees between April 2011 and March 31st this year.

The rest of the expenses were for membership of a professional body and conference attendance. He also claimed £5,339 for accommodation on the islands.

Peter’s partner lives on St Mary’s but it’s understood he is entitled to accommodation payments for his time in Scilly, as his home base remains an address in Devon.

While there’s no suggestion that Mr Lawrence Roberts has acted unlawfully, some islanders and councillors have questioned whether these payments should continue long term.

Peter says he made it very clear before he even applied for the role in October 2007 what his circumstances were and he would not have taken the job if this hadn’t been acceptable.

It was discussed extensively at the time and offered to him as part of his contract.

Peter says he’s not that concerned about people discussing his expenses data, as he’s got nothing to hide. People are perfectly entitled to scrutinise the payments, he says, and he’d be happy to talk to anyone about the details if they contact him.

There is nothing in his contract to state that this arrangement will end or the amount of travel expenses will taper off in the future.


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