Archive for May 21st, 2011|Daily archive page

Enemy of Carlotta: Coleman Balls

Enemy of Carlotta #127

Coleman faces new row over his taxi expenses

Wednesday, 18 May 2011 {courtesy of Barnet & Whetstone Press}

By Mary McConnell

Councillor Brian Coleman

Even Boris is ashamed of this pussy

Controversial councillor Brian Coleman has been blasted after he claimed £3,480 in expenses for taxis last year – including £140 to take his mother to a formal event.

Mr Coleman, Barnet Council’s cabinet member for the environment, made the claims for journeys carried out in his role as chairman of the London Fire And Emergency Planning Authority, which runs the London Fire Brigade.

In September last year Mr Coleman claimed £140.55 for the cost of two taxis that took his mother to memorial services for firefighters at St Paul’s Cathedral and at St Bartholomew The Great Church in east London.

The £3,480.20 expenses clocked up by Mr Coleman last year dwarfed the claims made by his LFEPA colleagues.

Deputy leader Maurice Heaster, who claimed £1,156.22, was the only other member to claim more than £1,000 in expenses, while 11 members did not claim any expenses at all.

Mr Coleman has been in the firing line over his expenses before. In 2008 he lodged a claim of more than £8,000, which earned him the nickname “Grab-a-cab Coleman”.

Vicky Morris, from Barnet Alliance For Public Services, told The Press: “The bill is not as big as in 2008 so I suppose he has managed to get it down.

“Mr Coleman expects a level of comfort that most of us don’t demand in life.

“He is a man with expensive tastes. The problem is we have become numb to it but this serial greed will have to catch up with him at some point.

“Taxis for his mother is just taking the mickey. He just has this sense of entitlement and thinks that he is a very important man so that means he should be able to stick his mother in a taxi at taxpayers’ expense.

“He has got no sense of embarrassment about it but I think he will come a cropper in the London Assembly elections next year.”

According to a spokesman for the London Fire Brigade, members of the authority should only use taxis as a matter of urgency or when no public transport was reasonably available.

A spokeswoman for London Mayor Boris Johnson said: “The mayor is disappointed with Mr Coleman. He does not approve of his extravagant expenses and has made this clear to him.

“Only members of the London Fire And Emergency Planning Authority, however, can tighten the expenses regime relevant here. We’d encourage them to do so.”

Mr Coleman was unavailable for comment.

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