Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has blamed a clerical error after a new expenses bungle has come to light.
Clive Grunshaw, who was investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission over discrepancies in his claims as a county councillor, has revealed he has now paid back an undisclosed sum after receiving mileage expenses in error at a higher rate than he was entitled to.
It is not known how much has been overclaimed or how long he had been receiving them but today the former Labour county councillor accused critics of running a ‘smear’ campaign against him.
The ex-milkman said: “I deplore the latest attempts to smear me over allegations relating to my expenses.
“For the record, expense claims are collated by a senior member of my staff who completes the form on my behalf.
“I do check them for accuracy for the mileage – which is not in dispute.
“Recently however I was informed of a clerical error, not made by me and of which I was entirely unaware, which has resulted in an overpayment.
“I immediately asked for this to be rectified.”
He continued: “That is the full extent of this matter.
“Any suggestions to the contrary are blatant lies and misinformation.”
It is second time the former Labour county councillor has experienced problems with his expenses since becoming the first elected Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner in November 2012.
In his first year in office he was alleged to have ‘overclaimed’ £1,550 during his county council work.
Following an Independent Police Complaints Commission probe into the discrepancies, the Crown Prosecution Service decided in January against prosecuting Mr Grunshaw.
It said ‘the evidence suggested errors rather than deliberacy in his part’.
The latest revelation comes just days after the announcement of the departure of Mr Grunshaw’s £120,000-a-year chief executive Miranda Carruthers-Watt last week.
Mr Grunshaw has announced he will review his support arrangements which involve a deputy PCC, three assistant PCCs and 12 other staff.
Ann Pennell, an officer in Lancashire County Council’s children and young person’s department, will fill the statutory role from August 1 on an interim basis, rather than Ms Carruthers-Watt’s deputy Christine Durber.