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County Hall chief trims credit card use after scandal
11:00am Saturday 14th September 2013 in News
ESSEX County Council’s top officer used her corporate credit card spend more than £300 on Christmas cards, it has been revealed.
Team trips to Colchester Zoo, frequent meals in the House of Lords and a £1,150 meal for 23 people in the United States were also charged to Joanna Killian’s card.
The information on all credit card purchases between January 2007 and June 2013 reveal the card’s usage fell dramatically after former county council leader Lord Hanningfield was charged and later convicted of fiddling his House of Lords expenses.
A County Hall spokesman said this reflected a “change in culture at the county council” following the Peer’s departure.
Since April 2010, Ms Killian’s card has only been used six times for train journeys and once to renew a subscription to the Local Government Chronicle.
She said: “Since becoming chief executive I have worked hard to ensure that over £300m worth of savings have been made, and that the council is in a financially secure position to face the challenges now in our immediate future.
“As chief executive I attend events and meetings on council business. That is part of my job. I also sometimes incur expenses and these have always been subject to approval processes and are there for people to see on the council's website.”
For a special report, pick up Friday's Gazette or Echo
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