max temp: 16°C

min temp: 13°C


Bury St Edmunds: Council defends six-figure spend on staff travel

11:06 09 April 2014

The West Suffolk House council offices in Bury St Edmunds

The West Suffolk House council offices in Bury St Edmunds


A west Suffolk council has defended its £135,000 spend on staff travel expenses that has left other local authorities in the region in the shade.


St Edmundsbury Borough Council racked up the bill in the 2012/13 financial year – the year it began sharing services with Forest Heath, with staff increasingly working across both authorities.

Its payouts on mileage, public transport and subsistence were higher than other councils in the region for which figures were 
available. Ipswich Borough Council spent £118,000, while Harlow District Council spent £72,000.

The bill for neighbouring Forest Heath district, Cambridge city and Chelmsford city councils were less than half St Edmundsbury’s total spend.

The council says that moving to a shared service has saved £3.5million for St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath combined, while a 
spokeswoman attributed the authority’s spending to covering a large geographical and rural area, 
including Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill and a number of west Suffolk villages

She added: “Many staff travel as part of their job. They include staff making site visits, such as the environmental health inspectors, planning officers, property surveyors and the park rangers, who work at several places.

“The councils keep travel costs down by using pool cars, car sharing and tele and video conferencing to save journeys.”

Old staff are based at one office and can claim travel between Bury and Mildenhall, but new 
appointments are dual-based and cannot.

According to Freedom of Information requests, around 190 staff claims are processed by St Edmundsbury each month, compared to between 75-85 for Forest Heath, Ipswich and Cambridge.



The new electronic road sign in Rushmere

A new set of electronic traffic signs have been posted around Ipswich to help warn motorists of delays, roadworks and other essential travel information.

The large scale police operation in Potash Road, Wyverstone.

A Suffolk police officer whose enquiries led to the discovery of more than 400 firearms - one of the biggest weapon finds the UK has ever seen - is set to be recognised.


Sites for more than 1,000 new homes on the Felixstowe peninsula have at last been revealed – with farmers’ fields set to disappear to make way for the growth of the resort.

A seal boarded Terry Davey's boat in the River Orwell.

A 71-year-old rower was joined by an unexpected companion while taking on a life-long dream to scull solo from Woodbridge to Ipswich in a boat of his own design and building.

Early morning deer rutting at RSPB Minsmere

It’s one of the most spectacular annual events in the wildlife spotting calendar – and a Suffolk nature reserve provides one of the best locations to get close to the unfolding drama.

Framlingham from above. Aerial photo by Mike Page.

A revised housing bid from Persimmon Homes for a site off Mount Pleasant in Framlingham has again been recommended for approval.

Liz Truss, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs addresses the Conservative Party conference in Manchester. Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Environment secretary Elizabeth Truss has warned Labour’s proposals for the environment and countryside are “fundamentally backward, dangerous and wrong”.

Prime Minister David Cameron in his hotel room as he prepares his conference speech that he will deliver to his party's annual conference at Manchester Central tomorrow. Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Prime minister David Cameron will label his tenure the “turnaround decade” when he addresses his party faithful today.

Vicky Ford

Prime minister David Cameron will get an agreement over ever-closer union, an exemption from the eurozone and a package on migration ahead of a referendum before 2017, one of the region’s Euro MPs has claimed.

Home Secretary Theresa May delivers her speech to the Conservative Party conference at Manchester Central. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 6, 2015. See PA story TORY Main. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Theresa May faced an angry backlash from business leaders, charities and political opponents as she announced a sharp tightening of rules for asylum and immigration.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages