EXPENSES claims by West Dunbartonshire’s councillors fell for the third year running, according to new figures.

Data published on the local authority’s website shows £19,092.92 was paid out to the area’s 22 councillors in expenses claims in 2019-20.

That compares to a total of £21,512.46 in 2018-19, which was a decrease on the 2017-18 total of £22,354.58.

On average, each councillor was paid £868 in expenses in 2019/20, compared to the 2018/19 average of just under £978.

When added to salaries, councillors received a total of £473,906.94 in the last financial year.

As in previous years, council leader Jonathan McColl claimed the most in expenses during 2019-20 – a total of £1,446.53.

The only other councillor to receive a four-figure sum in expense claims was Leven councillor Jim Bollan, of the Community Party, who was reimbursed for £1,237.69.

The third highest total, £808.55, was claimed by Diane Docherty, housing and communities convener.

At the other end of the scale, three councillors claimed less than £100 in expenses during the year – Labour’s Danny Lennie and Douglas McAllister, and Conservative councillor Sally Page.

Cllr McColl told the Post: “Expenses reimburse councillors for necessary costs incurred in doing their jobs, such as the cost of journeys to attend meetings across the country.”

Besides their salaries and expense claims, the only other expense shown in the council figures is for telephone and IT expenses, which are met directly by the council itself.

Totals claimed for the year by each councillor were as follows: Bailie Denis Agnew - £576.19; Cllr Jim Bollan - £1,237.69; Cllr Jim Brown - £402.68; Cllr Gail Casey - £160.09; Cllr Karen Conaghan - £282.92; Cllr Ian Dickson - £606.30; Cllr Diane Docherty - £808.55; Cllr Jim Finn - £145.33; Provost William Hendrie - £279.35; Cllr Danny Lennie - £30.96; Cllr Caroline McAllister - £768.44; Cllr Douglas McAllister - £13.41; Cllr David McBride - £181.93; Cllr Jonathan McColl - £1,446.93; Cllr Iain McLaren - £608.62; Cllr Marie McNair - £614.13; Cllr John Millar - £363.03; Cllr John Mooney - £764.74; Cllr Lawrence O’Neill - £116.33; Cllr Sally Page - £40.96; Cllr Martin Rooney – £221.13; Cllr Brian Walker - £688.56.