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Parsons faces further travel probe

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Former Leicestershire CC leader David Parsons faces a further hefty bill for travel to airports on top of more than £2,000 that he has repaid to the council.

A report for a corporate governance committee meeting next week details further findings by the council’s internal audit service in the lengthy investigation into Cllr Parsons’ travel expense claims and use of a chauffeured car provided by Leicestershire.

Cllr Parsons (Con) resigned as leader in July after the standards committee handed him a “strong censure” for multiple breaches of the code of conduct over his travel expenses.

He had frequently travelled around Europe in his role on the Committee of the Regions (CoR) and also made journeys in the UK in the chauffeured car.

A report on further information received since the corporate governance committee’s June meeting identified 39 meetings for which Cllr Parsons had received flat rate travel and meetings allowances from the CoR.

“For the majority of the 39 meetings attended, Mr Parsons was transported to and from the point of departure to Europe at the expense of the county council and so received a double benefit (travel allowance and transport in the UK at no cost to him),” it said.

“An exercise in calculating the cost to the county council of providing the transport will be undertaken, with a view to Mr Parsons being invoiced.”

It said Cllr Parsons had repaid £2,314. 14 to Leicestershire for expenses involving eight previously unidentified trips, including to Brussels, Murcia and Porto.

A separate report to the committee noted that a written public apology agreed with the county’s monitoring officer was still awaited from Cllr Parsons following June’ standards hearing. The content of this is understood to remain under negotiation.

Cllr Parsons has been approached for comment.

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