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MALLON PULLS THE PLUG ON MEMBERS' MOBILES

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Middlesbrough's elected mayor Ray Mallon has ordered councillors to hand in council-owned mobile phones as part of ...
Middlesbrough's elected mayor Ray Mallon has ordered councillors to hand in council-owned mobile phones as part of an expenses crackdown.

The proposals will cut back on hotel bills and travel expenses, as well as determine how some 15 council-owned phones are allocated in future.

Under the new rules, which were agreed by the all-party executive, first- class rail travel will only be permitted under exceptional circumstances and councillors will be expected to use public transport or pool cars.

Councillors will not be allowed to arrange their own overnight accommodation, which will only be agreed if they have to leave home before 7am to get to a meeting - it used to be 8.30am.

Receipts will be required for the payment of meal allowances.

Mr Mallon said: 'It is absolutely essential we examine all items of expenditure to see where we can divert money into front-line services. These are simple, sensible rules which will enable us to do that.'

Full council is expected to ratify the changes next week.

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