Mayor defends buying TV and airline tickets to America using council money

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Mansfield’s mayor has defended splashing out nearly £740 for a TV in her office and buying airline tickets to America using council money.

Labour councillors on Mansfield District Council have been raising questions over the purchases and accusing Kate Allsop of negating on her election promise not to exploit expenses.

But in a politically-charged debate during the recent full council meeting, Mrs Allsop hit back saying the TV at her Civic Centre office was purely for business and said the trip to Pennsylvania was part of the town’s links with other Mansfield’s around the world.

Every four years representatives from Mansfields gather to share and promote ideas.

Quizzed about the £1,400 travel costs, Mrs Allsop said: “I’m taking my husband who will buy his own ticket.

“I will be representing our Mansfield. This is a business cost, not an expense.”

Meanwhile, she defended the TV purchase by saying work at the Civic Centre to convert an area to a police community hub, will mean more meetings held in her office.

She said: “I can confirm that I have a screen in my office for business use.

“There soon won’t be as many meeting rooms available and my office is regularly used. It is not connected to an aerial.

“I have televisions at home and if I want to watch television I go home and watch it there.”

Councillor Sonya Ward, leader of the Labour group said: “Whether it’s plugged in or not, Curry’s says its a TV and I do not doubt that they are right.”

Coun Ward then went through a list of items that she accused the mayor of putting on expenses, including tea and coffee.

Clearly rattled by the comment, Mrs Allsop hit back at Coun Ward saying: “You are absolutely and totally wrong.

“We are talking about a budget that has been put in place to run an office.

“Tea and coffee? It’s a mayoral office and we get visitors from all over the place.

“We do not have wine like we used to have or a cabinet with £4,000 worth of alcohol.

“These are costs of running a business, I’m sorry you do not understand that.

This is so misleading and so naughty but what else did I expect?”