Dillon’s expenses revealed

Jim Dillon, Scarborough Borough Council's chief executive
Jim Dillon, Scarborough Borough Council's chief executive
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Curry-loving council boss Jim Dillon has used the council plastic to pay for Elton John tickets, meals and fun park treats.

The Scarborough News has obtained an extensive breakdown of the chief executive’s procurement card transactions for the previous tax year, which total £2,492.57.

Our exclusive figures reveal that among the 49 transactions made by Mr Dillon between April 13 2011 and April 19 2012, he used his expenses card to purchase three tickets for VIPs, totalling £249.95, to see Sir Elton John at the Open Air Theatre last summer,

A spokesperson for the council claims that the tickets were purchased because the council “accidentally oversold” the allocation that they’d received by three, and therefore needed to make up the difference.

The spokesperson also claims that all tickets were paid for by the recipients and Mr Dillon’s expenses budget was subsequently reimbursed.

However, the transactions also showed nearly £600 over a two-day period last October on hospitality for dignitaries from towns twinned with Scarborough. Mr Dillon also paid hundreds of pounds entertaining guests at various Indian restaurants on business trips to London.

The chief executive shelled out £52.75 on “celebratory drinks” for the legal services team at their maligned trip to London to pick up an award.

The Scarborough News revealed earlier this year how the authority spent nearly £3,000 on sending the 10-strong legal team to the ceremony.

Other claims made by Mr Dillon include £10.15 on refreshments at Flamingo Land, £70.51 on an iPad case and dock connector, as well as £7.99 for an iPad app.

Three claims for an amount smaller than £5 were submitted by Mr Dillon.

It was unclear if Mr Dillon has since paid any of these claims out of his own pocket.

But a council spokesperson said the council card is designed to cut back on bureaucratic red tape. They added: “Officers that undertake regular council business that requires them to travel within and outside the borough for meetings, conferences and events are often provided with a purchase card to allow them to make any necessary associated purchases such as train fares or accommodation.

“The purchase card is in effect a credit card and the statements come back into the council on a monthly basis at which point the entries are checked against proof of purchase, for example, receipt and invoice with the costs charged to the relevant departmental budget.

“This alleviates the need for officers to fund business expenses out of their own money up front.”