TAXPAYERS have fished nearly £ 21,000 to pay for a luxury & # 39; Jaguar to sail around Portsmouth's Lord Mayor has unveiled a new probe.
According to figures released today by the Alliance of Taxpayers, the Portsmouth City Council has spent £ 20,782 for the leasing, refueling and maintenance of the Jaguar XF Luxury model.
The huge bill from the Council is the largest in Hampshire and one of the largest of the UK local authorities – well above the national average of £ 12,133.
Close behind was the Gosport Borough Council, which did not rent just £ 18,000 and has maintained and insured the Audi A6 since 2015. It only spent £ 650 on car washes.
Fareham Borough Council spent a modest £ 5,440 on its Volvo S80 SE Lux while Havant Borough Council spent £ 7,900 to refuel and maintain a Volkswagen Passat.
The news is that the councils are constantly being pressured to tighten spending.
John O & # 39; Connell, chief executive of the Alliance of Taxpayers, has said that taxpayers & # 39; would throw their eyes & # 39; at the revelation and called the councils to take action.
He said: & # 39;Every penny that is wasted on excessive travel costs is money that can be spent on social care or bin collections. & # 39;
The study showed that since 2014 207 councils spent £ 4,513,607 on cars for mayors, mayors, lord provosts and their equivalents. In the same period, the municipal tax in England rose by an average of £ 188.
Local authorities spent £ 2,745,097 buying and leasing cars during the three-year period, with Portsmouth's lease license £ 15,800 and £ 11,601.81 from Gosport. Fareham and Havant did not have a lease invoice.
Hampshire County Council, Southampton City Council and the Isle of Wight Council have not spent anything on vehicles.
Other luxury vehicles used by mayors of the British councils were the Audi A8 (£ 69,415), BMW 7 (£ 63,040), Jaguar XJ (£ 62,360) and Mercedes S-class (£ 70,470).
A spokesperson for the Portsmouth City Council said: Lord Mayor and deputy mayor fulfill important and historical social duties and each year more than 500 functions, of which the majority need a car.
& # 39; The vehicle is rented because it is a more tax and cost efficient way. & # 39;
A spokesperson for Gosport Borough Council said: "The mayor attends an average of 300 official assignments per year – about 250 of them require the use of the car.
& # 39; If the engagement is local, the mayor will drive to the town hall and will walk from there after collecting the office chain.
& # 39; The vehicle is rented out because it is a more tax- and cost-efficient way to provide the transport that is needed for this business office. & # 39;
Labor Councillor Tom Coles, who represents the Fratton division at Portsmouth City Council, said cheaper alternatives were needed, and added: "Although the mayoral car should carry a certain amount of distinction, I feel this moment of Tory cuts on local services that fit a model better the budgetary constraints imposed on the councils are appropriate. & # 39;