Why Sir Bob claimed £5 in cycle expenses

SIR Bob Russell claimed £5 on expenses for bicycle mileage, to cover a work experience girl’s travel. The intern made four return journeys between Mile End and the Colchester MP’s constituency office in Wimpole Road – 3.3 miles each way.

Under expenses rules, MPs can claim 20p per mile on a bike.

Sir Bob said: “It was for a young intern who very generously gave her time freely and claimed a cycle allowance, which I authorised.

“It is a lot cheaper than if she had taken the bus, so she saved the public money.

“The Colchester resident was working for my constituents and the least I could do is pay her cycle mileage.

“Interns benefit from work experience in a busy office and I and my constituents benefit from the work they do, financially too.”

The intern worked at Sir Bob’s office in October and November last year.

MPs can claim 40p per mile for travel by car or 24p by motorcycle.

Guidelines for MPs state they “should always have regard to whether any particular journey is necessary and to the most cost-effective way to undertake it”.

Sir Bob said: “I think all political parties want to encourage more sustainable forms of transport.

“I don’t claim mileage for when I travel between home and work.

“While I do have a car, I use public transport in Colchester, travelling to London, and within London where possible.

“Anyone who knows me knows I also do a fair amount of walking.”

Councillors in Colchester and Tendring are also able to make the cycle claim, but so far never have.

Witham and Stanway MP Priti Patel had the highest claim in the period, collecting £1,278 in various car fuel, hire and taxi charges.

The taxi journeys were made when she had injured her arm in crash.

Douglas Carswell, MP for Clacton, claimed £255 in car expenses and Maldon’s MP John Whittingdale claimed £10 for a congestion charge payment.

Bernard Jenkin, MP for Harwich and North Essex, and Braintree MP Brooks Newmark did not make a claim in October and November.

As well as the cycle claims, Sir Bob claimed £26.80 in bus fares and a £10 congestion charge fee.

MPs can claim expenses at a later date or all in one go.

Comments (26)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:36pm Tue 6 Mar 12

jim_bo says...

Intern claims £5 for cycling....

Whatever next? Intern claims for passing wind.
Intern claims £5 for cycling.... Whatever next? Intern claims for passing wind. jim_bo
  • Score: 0

7:33pm Tue 6 Mar 12

Say It As It Is OK? says...

“The Colchester resident was working for my constituents and the least I could do is pay her cycle mileage"

Actually if this was claimed as expenses then you didn't pay Bob. The tax payer did!
“The Colchester resident was working for my constituents and the least I could do is pay her cycle mileage" Actually if this was claimed as expenses then you didn't pay Bob. The tax payer did! Say It As It Is OK?
  • Score: 0

8:58pm Tue 6 Mar 12

Tramper1962 says...

OH right. Then I will claim all the expenses that we have had to make running up and down to the Oaks hospital, over to Chelmsford. Just to get my wife's knee sorted out cause of your stupidity and letting the curb out the back of our flat go to ruin. I claim more that 20p a mile, and I will also claim for my time as well.

Yeah right. The council will not give me my money back!
They will just say there is no money.
How dare bob (stupid) russel claim for this stupid interns bicycle ride on our expense
OH right. Then I will claim all the expenses that we have had to make running up and down to the Oaks hospital, over to Chelmsford. Just to get my wife's knee sorted out cause of your stupidity and letting the curb out the back of our flat go to ruin. I claim more that 20p a mile, and I will also claim for my time as well. Yeah right. The council will not give me my money back! They will just say there is no money. How dare bob (stupid) russel claim for this stupid interns bicycle ride on our expense Tramper1962
  • Score: 0

9:13pm Tue 6 Mar 12

Boris says...

Sure it is a ridiculous claim, but the claim by another MP for the London congestion charge is more outrageous.
Sure it is a ridiculous claim, but the claim by another MP for the London congestion charge is more outrageous. Boris
  • Score: 0

9:15pm Tue 6 Mar 12

Boris says...

Actually Bob Russell was getting some work out of this girl and paying her nothing, and meanwhile indoctrinating her with Lib Dem values, so he could at least have had the decency not to claim for her bicycle expenses.
Actually Bob Russell was getting some work out of this girl and paying her nothing, and meanwhile indoctrinating her with Lib Dem values, so he could at least have had the decency not to claim for her bicycle expenses. Boris
  • Score: 0

10:19pm Tue 6 Mar 12

californianana says...

you've got. to be kidding. mileage for riding a bike?????? and what on earth is a congestion fee? what planet are these people on??never heard anything so stupid and all at the taxpayers expense .....
you've got. to be kidding. mileage for riding a bike?????? and what on earth is a congestion fee? what planet are these people on??never heard anything so stupid and all at the taxpayers expense ..... californianana
  • Score: 0

10:35pm Tue 6 Mar 12

2012_Jimbob says...

Gazette. You are starting to hurt the back of my eye every time I read you!

This is a nothing story. From what you have written it was the intern that claimed anyway not the MP!

Californianan....goi
ng by you name we can probably let this one go. A congestion fee (or charge) is to enter central london by vehicle between certain times. FYI Parliament falls within this area and public officials are not exempt hence Mr Obama is being chased for non payment when he and his entourage descended on london in the presidential motorcade or whatever they call it.
Gazette. You are starting to hurt the back of my eye every time I read you! This is a nothing story. From what you have written it was the intern that claimed anyway not the MP! Californianan....goi ng by you name we can probably let this one go. A congestion fee (or charge) is to enter central london by vehicle between certain times. FYI Parliament falls within this area and public officials are not exempt hence Mr Obama is being chased for non payment when he and his entourage descended on london in the presidential motorcade or whatever they call it. 2012_Jimbob
  • Score: 0

10:58pm Tue 6 Mar 12

6079 Smith W says...

Boris wrote:
Actually Bob Russell was getting some work out of this girl and paying her nothing, and meanwhile indoctrinating her with Lib Dem values, so he could at least have had the decency not to claim for her bicycle expenses.
Just what exactly are Con-Dem, er, sorry, I mean Lib-Dem values these days, anyway?
In response to 'Jimbob', love to know how this clear attempt at political indoctrination* being paid by the tax payer, is a 'non-story'?
However, next time people want to get excited about youngsters and graffiti in this town, have a look at its 'moral leadership' (and I mean the lot in the Town Hall as well).
*That needs a footnote. Ideology suggests they have beliefs, when what is meant here is working for the Lib-Dem party machine, and doing what you're told by the Tories.
[quote][p][bold]Boris[/bold] wrote: Actually Bob Russell was getting some work out of this girl and paying her nothing, and meanwhile indoctrinating her with Lib Dem values, so he could at least have had the decency not to claim for her bicycle expenses.[/p][/quote]Just what exactly are Con-Dem, er, sorry, I mean Lib-Dem values these days, anyway? In response to 'Jimbob', love to know how this clear attempt at political indoctrination* being paid by the tax payer, is a 'non-story'? However, next time people want to get excited about youngsters and graffiti in this town, have a look at its 'moral leadership' (and I mean the lot in the Town Hall as well). *That needs a footnote. Ideology suggests they have beliefs, when what is meant here is working for the Lib-Dem party machine, and doing what you're told by the Tories. 6079 Smith W
  • Score: 0

11:20pm Tue 6 Mar 12

Feisty CBC says...

How many sheets of your bog roll did she use though Bob?
How many sheets of your bog roll did she use though Bob? Feisty CBC
  • Score: 0

11:31pm Tue 6 Mar 12

californianana says...

thanks a mil jimbob I had never heard of this before so appreciate you explaining it to me.I still think mileage for riding a bike is silly. when you volunteer you do it because you want to and only expect the satisfaction. of what you do in return.
thanks a mil jimbob I had never heard of this before so appreciate you explaining it to me.I still think mileage for riding a bike is silly. when you volunteer you do it because you want to and only expect the satisfaction. of what you do in return. californianana
  • Score: 0

4:27am Wed 7 Mar 12

californianana says...

Jim Bob again thanks for setting. me straight. tho I'm a born and raised colcestrian so much has changed over the years.this is why I read the paper on my phone and am always grateful when someone explains something. to me you are correct. it is the presidential motorcade.
Jim Bob again thanks for setting. me straight. tho I'm a born and raised colcestrian so much has changed over the years.this is why I read the paper on my phone and am always grateful when someone explains something. to me you are correct. it is the presidential motorcade. californianana
  • Score: 0

8:08am Wed 7 Mar 12

hughie-s says...

If you use your cycle on official business civil servants and the like have always been able to claim mileage as like any form of transport they cost money to buy and maintain.

In the 1980's I was claiming I think something like 3p per mile. The present 20p against 24p for a motor cycle does however seem to be rather generous given the motor cyclist needs to buy fuel , insurance etc.
If you use your cycle on official business civil servants and the like have always been able to claim mileage as like any form of transport they cost money to buy and maintain. In the 1980's I was claiming I think something like 3p per mile. The present 20p against 24p for a motor cycle does however seem to be rather generous given the motor cyclist needs to buy fuel , insurance etc. hughie-s
  • Score: 0

12:22pm Wed 7 Mar 12

Reginald47 says...

What planet are all you saddos living on! I am as critical of BR (sorry Sir BR) as the rest of you when he does something genuinely stupid like write rude letters to constituents but this is a story about a £5 expenses claim. If you haven't got anything worse to whinge about than that then you're doing well!
What planet are all you saddos living on! I am as critical of BR (sorry Sir BR) as the rest of you when he does something genuinely stupid like write rude letters to constituents but this is a story about a £5 expenses claim. If you haven't got anything worse to whinge about than that then you're doing well! Reginald47
  • Score: 0

1:53pm Wed 7 Mar 12

TheCaptain says...

I think the point is not the amount claimed but that it can be claimed.

As an ex Civil Servant I could claim travel costs if I went on official business from my office to another one. I couldn't claim to get from my home to the office as seems to be the case here. Not to mention that there were no costs.

If Bob or his intern walked could they claim wear and tear on their shoes?
I think the point is not the amount claimed but that it can be claimed. As an ex Civil Servant I could claim travel costs if I went on official business from my office to another one. I couldn't claim to get from my home to the office as seems to be the case here. Not to mention that there were no costs. If Bob or his intern walked could they claim wear and tear on their shoes? TheCaptain
  • Score: 0

2:28pm Wed 7 Mar 12

bullybob says...

Boris wrote:
Sure it is a ridiculous claim, but the claim by another MP for the London congestion charge is more outrageous.
Bob actually claimed for congestion charge too.
[quote][p][bold]Boris[/bold] wrote: Sure it is a ridiculous claim, but the claim by another MP for the London congestion charge is more outrageous.[/p][/quote]Bob actually claimed for congestion charge too. bullybob
  • Score: 0

2:40pm Wed 7 Mar 12

Boris says...

6079 Smith W wrote:
Boris wrote:
Actually Bob Russell was getting some work out of this girl and paying her nothing, and meanwhile indoctrinating her with Lib Dem values, so he could at least have had the decency not to claim for her bicycle expenses.
Just what exactly are Con-Dem, er, sorry, I mean Lib-Dem values these days, anyway?
In response to 'Jimbob', love to know how this clear attempt at political indoctrination* being paid by the tax payer, is a 'non-story'?
However, next time people want to get excited about youngsters and graffiti in this town, have a look at its 'moral leadership' (and I mean the lot in the Town Hall as well).
*That needs a footnote. Ideology suggests they have beliefs, when what is meant here is working for the Lib-Dem party machine, and doing what you're told by the Tories.
The core Lib Dem value is to speak with forked tongue. Many young people feel they need to learn this value in order to duck and dive their way through life.
[quote][p][bold]6079 Smith W[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Boris[/bold] wrote: Actually Bob Russell was getting some work out of this girl and paying her nothing, and meanwhile indoctrinating her with Lib Dem values, so he could at least have had the decency not to claim for her bicycle expenses.[/p][/quote]Just what exactly are Con-Dem, er, sorry, I mean Lib-Dem values these days, anyway? In response to 'Jimbob', love to know how this clear attempt at political indoctrination* being paid by the tax payer, is a 'non-story'? However, next time people want to get excited about youngsters and graffiti in this town, have a look at its 'moral leadership' (and I mean the lot in the Town Hall as well). *That needs a footnote. Ideology suggests they have beliefs, when what is meant here is working for the Lib-Dem party machine, and doing what you're told by the Tories.[/p][/quote]The core Lib Dem value is to speak with forked tongue. Many young people feel they need to learn this value in order to duck and dive their way through life. Boris
  • Score: 0

3:04pm Wed 7 Mar 12

romantic says...

I´m certainly no Bob Russell apologist, but it seems to me that the attention being paid to this 5 pound expense almost lessens the impact of other issues. The Lib Dems, until they joined with the Coalition, were seen as a basically trustworthy bunch. To call ducking and diving a Lib Dem trait is a bit simplistic. Politicians of all hues duck and dive. On the wider issue, my feeling is that BR disagrees with a lot of what the coalition is doing, and it is to his shame if he says nothing for the sake of an easy life and the bauble of a knighthood.

Whether it could be called indoctrination for this girl to do a few days general work for BR´s office, I don´t know. She may well have already been a Lib Dem anyway.

I don´t have any major problem with a cycling allowance being paid to her. In fact, I have often thought it would be a good thing if people get paid for cycling anyway. I say this as a regular cyclist, hands on the table! But you might find a lot of people leaving their cars at home and cycling if it earns them a few quid. Benefits? Health. Traffic, pollution. Just a thought!
I´m certainly no Bob Russell apologist, but it seems to me that the attention being paid to this 5 pound expense almost lessens the impact of other issues. The Lib Dems, until they joined with the Coalition, were seen as a basically trustworthy bunch. To call ducking and diving a Lib Dem trait is a bit simplistic. Politicians of all hues duck and dive. On the wider issue, my feeling is that BR disagrees with a lot of what the coalition is doing, and it is to his shame if he says nothing for the sake of an easy life and the bauble of a knighthood. Whether it could be called indoctrination for this girl to do a few days general work for BR´s office, I don´t know. She may well have already been a Lib Dem anyway. I don´t have any major problem with a cycling allowance being paid to her. In fact, I have often thought it would be a good thing if people get paid for cycling anyway. I say this as a regular cyclist, hands on the table! But you might find a lot of people leaving their cars at home and cycling if it earns them a few quid. Benefits? Health. Traffic, pollution. Just a thought! romantic
  • Score: 0

4:25pm Wed 7 Mar 12

jacklumber1 says...

Cycling from Mile End to Sir Bobs office and back seems to me to be a dangerous ride which would have been better not to have undertaken. Safer better and cheaper to have got the young lady a bus ticket a bus ticket I would have thought.
Cycling from Mile End to Sir Bobs office and back seems to me to be a dangerous ride which would have been better not to have undertaken. Safer better and cheaper to have got the young lady a bus ticket a bus ticket I would have thought. jacklumber1
  • Score: 0

7:21pm Wed 7 Mar 12

Boris says...

bullybob wrote:
Boris wrote:
Sure it is a ridiculous claim, but the claim by another MP for the London congestion charge is more outrageous.
Bob actually claimed for congestion charge too.
How appalling. Do they also claim for parking fines?
I blame the parliamentary expenses office for allowing absurd claims.
I also blame Margaret Thatcher who, in the early 1980s, to avoid giving a hefty salary increase to MPs, told the expenses office to pay practically any claim, no matter how preposterous.
[quote][p][bold]bullybob[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Boris[/bold] wrote: Sure it is a ridiculous claim, but the claim by another MP for the London congestion charge is more outrageous.[/p][/quote]Bob actually claimed for congestion charge too.[/p][/quote]How appalling. Do they also claim for parking fines? I blame the parliamentary expenses office for allowing absurd claims. I also blame Margaret Thatcher who, in the early 1980s, to avoid giving a hefty salary increase to MPs, told the expenses office to pay practically any claim, no matter how preposterous. Boris
  • Score: 0

7:30pm Wed 7 Mar 12

horizontal says...

Russell is over 60, so why is he claiming £26.80 in bus fares?

Get a bus pass, Bob!
Russell is over 60, so why is he claiming £26.80 in bus fares? Get a bus pass, Bob! horizontal
  • Score: 0

9:12pm Wed 7 Mar 12

jacklumber1 says...

MPs claim for everything. In their restuarnt and bar they get subsidised food and drink that make the cost of hospital meals look like a packet of crisps. As well as having TV cameras in the Commons Lords and Committee rooms they should have TV in the other areas so the public can see just what they up to the rest of the time! Bit like CCTV in towns where the public are being spied on!
MPs claim for everything. In their restuarnt and bar they get subsidised food and drink that make the cost of hospital meals look like a packet of crisps. As well as having TV cameras in the Commons Lords and Committee rooms they should have TV in the other areas so the public can see just what they up to the rest of the time! Bit like CCTV in towns where the public are being spied on! jacklumber1
  • Score: 0

12:20pm Thu 8 Mar 12

Brooks Forbutox says...

Valid claim ... I cycle and I eat more than I would if I didn't get the exercise. And the price of fuel is going up too. I also pay for third party insurance as well as labour and parts on my bike for servicing and maintenance. A bike mechanic charges as much as a car mechanic ... why shouldn't they? @jacklumber1: you're far more likely to be a casualty as a pedestrian ... and cycling is far faster than taking the bus or car. Colchester is brilliant for having loads of great off-road cycle routes. Try it some time.
Valid claim ... I cycle and I eat more than I would if I didn't get the exercise. And the price of fuel [Weetabix and milk, mainly] is going up too. I also pay for third party insurance as well as labour and parts on my bike for servicing and maintenance. A bike mechanic charges as much as a car mechanic ... why shouldn't they? @jacklumber1: you're far more likely to be a casualty as a pedestrian ... and cycling is far faster than taking the bus or car. Colchester is brilliant for having loads of great off-road cycle routes. Try it some time. Brooks Forbutox
  • Score: 0

2:07pm Thu 8 Mar 12

romantic says...

jacklumber1 wrote:
Cycling from Mile End to Sir Bobs office and back seems to me to be a dangerous ride which would have been better not to have undertaken. Safer better and cheaper to have got the young lady a bus ticket a bus ticket I would have thought.
But, Jack, the claim would then be higher! 3.30 a day, 4 days, makes 13.20. The taxpayer is 8.20 better off.

And substantial parts of the journey could be done on bike paths or back roads. I cycle several miles a day in this town and do not have to go onto the main roads at all.
[quote][p][bold]jacklumber1[/bold] wrote: Cycling from Mile End to Sir Bobs office and back seems to me to be a dangerous ride which would have been better not to have undertaken. Safer better and cheaper to have got the young lady a bus ticket a bus ticket I would have thought.[/p][/quote]But, Jack, the claim would then be higher! 3.30 a day, 4 days, makes 13.20. The taxpayer is 8.20 better off. And substantial parts of the journey could be done on bike paths or back roads. I cycle several miles a day in this town and do not have to go onto the main roads at all. romantic
  • Score: 0

3:54pm Thu 8 Mar 12

jacklumber1 says...

I don't know if any of you folks have seen the traffic at N Station thro to the Albert roundabout and onward?Believe me its safer walking or busing. There are other routes but not as direct. If the young lady was to have an unfortunate accident then adding potential hospital costs puts the price up significantly. There are two cycle lanes under N Station bridge both hardly ever used. In fact most cyclists use the pavement because its safer. It depends where you cycle from and your destination. Mile End to Wimpole Road you could take many routes some more direct but less safe than others.
I just think if it was my daughter I would give her the bus fare.Some of the drivers in that area all think they have to beat the lights and be first away. Its like a race track and a cyclist is very vulnerable. I believe in cycling but not if there is a risk factor. Be safe not sorry!
I don't know if any of you folks have seen the traffic at N Station thro to the Albert roundabout and onward?Believe me its safer walking or busing. There are other routes but not as direct. If the young lady was to have an unfortunate accident then adding potential hospital costs puts the price up significantly. There are two cycle lanes under N Station bridge both hardly ever used. In fact most cyclists use the pavement because its safer. It depends where you cycle from and your destination. Mile End to Wimpole Road you could take many routes some more direct but less safe than others. I just think if it was my daughter I would give her the bus fare.Some of the drivers in that area all think they have to beat the lights and be first away. Its like a race track and a cyclist is very vulnerable. I believe in cycling but not if there is a risk factor. Be safe not sorry! jacklumber1
  • Score: 0

1:28am Fri 9 Mar 12

Brooks Forbutox says...

You can avoid North Station by using the foot tunnel at the end of Petrolea Way (the Asda access road), which brings you out on to Mason Road - handy to go down the side of Megabowl and on to the Wivenhoe Trail.
You can avoid North Station by using the foot tunnel at the end of Petrolea Way (the Asda access road), which brings you out on to Mason Road - handy to go down the side of Megabowl and on to the Wivenhoe Trail. Brooks Forbutox
  • Score: 0

7:57am Fri 9 Mar 12

jacklumber1 says...

Brooks I am aware of the route you mention but never tried it.
With the yobs and weirdos about today and having lost my Rambo edge I prefer well trodden routes. Also sending a young lady that route would / could it be dangerous and is it a mucky dog walkers trail? I'd still prefer to give my daughter the bus fare.
Brooks I am aware of the route you mention but never tried it. With the yobs and weirdos about today and having lost my Rambo edge I prefer well trodden routes. Also sending a young lady that route would / could it be dangerous and is it a mucky dog walkers trail? I'd still prefer to give my daughter the bus fare. jacklumber1
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree