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North East MPs’ expenses claims finally published

DETAILS of MPs’ expenses claims were finally published by the House of Commons yesterday, evoking fresh public outcry.

DETAILS of MPs’ expenses claims were finally published by the House of Commons yesterday, evoking fresh public outcry. Regional affairs correspondent Adrian Pearson reveals what your MP claimed.

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DAVE ANDERSON, Blaydon

Billed the taxpayer for £68.84 each month for service or maintenance to his home.

And over the course of a year he claimed £3,900 worth of food on expenses and worked up a cleaning bill of £145, as well as totting up £250 of repairs.

Other items claimed for by Mr Anderson included carpet replacement at £1,000, £38 on bedding and two separate bills for paint, costing a total of £27.

His total expenses claims for the year added up to £21,651.50.

HILARY ARMSTRONG, Durham North West

Claimed £120 for two pillows.

£210 claimed in September 2007 for decorating doors and windows.

In May the same year she had her Aga serviced at a cost of £95.54.

In March 2007 she spent £3,100 to repoint stonework on the gable ends of her house.

She also claimed £375 for a dishwasher in September 2005 and a washing machine costing £282.23 in February 2005.

PETER ATKINSON Hexham

Mr Atkinson claimed £2,068 to line his chimney after it failed a safety test, with £329 spent replacing a gas fire in 2006.

Bills totaling £2,968 to replace rotten windows were also submitted.

Other expenses included £439.94 for a TV and video recorder in 2005, along with £132.23 for Ikea curtains and £99.99 for a garden shed.

Mr Atkinson claimed £21.86 for Homebase tools to erect the shed. He claimed for his television licence, a £45 kitchen tap repair, £444 for a bed and a £119 computer table.

ALAN BEITH, Berwick

Claimed an average of £1,200 a month in mortgage payments and £30 a month in laundry bills.

In 2006 he claimed £757 on kitchen equipment including a fridge freezer, cooker and cooker hood.

He claimed £4,700.65 towards half the cost of refurbishing his kitchen.

In February 2007 he spent £39.95 on a kettle.

Other claims include £350 for a TV and £224 on an air conditioner.

Also claimed £7,115 for the cost of cleaning his London home between 2004/05 and 2007/08.

Roberta Blackman-Woods, City of Durham MP

The MP has previously revealed her full expenses claims to The Journal, including details withheld by Parliament.

Her claims show regular bids to be reimbursed for food bills totaling up to £400 a month. The MP says she would claim up to £25 a day food costs but only when working.

She also spent £1,427 on bedroom furniture, including £649 on a 5ft-bedstead.

Two sofas were also charged to the taxpayers, spread out over two years at a cost of £57.50 a month.

But the Labour MP, who put her claims on a website in May, paid for a TV and kitchen items from her own pocket, describing them as “not essential” to her job.

NICK BROWN North East Minister

Nick Brown has not claimed for furniture, but did take his full monthly allowance of £400 for food.

One major bill was £3,523 for a new boiler in his Newcastle home in 2005

A £429 computer was bought in 2007.

The Newcastle East and Wallsend MP claims for mortgage interest payments for his Newcastle property. The monthly bill has dropped to £374.22 from £554.22 last year. Mr Brown paid around £250 in cleaning bills a month between 2004 and 2008.

STEPHEN BYERS, North Tyneside

Claimed more than £125,000 in second home expenses for a London flat owned by his partner where he lives rent-free, it was claimed last month.

Spent £388 of taxpayers’ money on a washing machine. Claimed more than £236 on having the kitchen painted. Receipts show he regularly spent £400 a month on groceries and £200 on cleaning, even when Parliament was in recess.

ALAN CAMPBELL, Tynemouth

Ate his way through £3,750-worth of food in a year at the taxpayer’s expense. Claimed £32 on towels, £25 on a cutlery set and £29 on crockery.

The vast majority of his claims are made up of mortgage payments, service charges, utility bills and council tax payments.

The year prior to that the MP’s claims came to more than £22,000, in 2005/06 he also claimed more than £22,000 and in 2004/05 he claimed around £20,000.

RONNIE CAMPBELL, Blyth

Spent thousands of pounds kitting out his London flat.

Claimed a DFS leather sofa and pouffe for £1,020 in May 2004.

A soap dispenser for £12.99 and £20 for a bathmat were also covered. A quilt cover and bed sheet cost taxpayers £153.75. Made two claims of £239.10 and £91.90 for rock salt after his offices were overrun with slugs.

Claimed £39 for a panama hat.

DAVID CLELLAND, Tyne Bridge

£237 for household items, curtains, towels and cleaning materials in March last year. Claimed £470 for an oriental rug and £1.99 for toilet roll. A pedal bin, tea towels and a blind have also been claimed on taxpayers by the Tyne Bridge MP. Another claim for £270 related to a unit to provide digital television reception and replacing a “worn out” video recorder.

JIM COUSINS Newcastle Central MP

Claimed nearly £10,000 on new doors, a bathroom and sanding pine floors.

He spent at least £3,820.40 on a bathroom. PVC doors were £4,185.39 while the removal of a carpet and repair and sanding of pine floors came in at £1,791.

Other expenses included 98p for a bulb, £125 for bed linen and £1,190 for a chest of drawers. He also claimed £455 for fencing, £78.46 for a shed and bin, and a £24.98 spade. Another bill was the cost of removing ivy from the garden £1,000.

JOHN CUMMINGS, Easington

Mr Cummings’ constituency has some of the most deprived neighbourhoods in the UK. His claims include cleaning bills regularly up to £220 a month, as well as frequently charging the taxpayer £400 a month to feed him. Included in his claims are a £1,113 bill for redecorating bedrooms in a house the taxpayers was helping pay for.

BILL ETHERINGTON, Sunderland North

Claimed for more than £305 after rats infested his home. He also spent £233.96 on two sets of ladders and a waste paper bin. A chest of drawers also cost the public £168 on top of £30.60 for replacement doorknobs.

Bedding and a toaster are also among the items on his expenses list, with a total cost of £112.92.

HELEN GOODMAN, Bishop Auckland

Ms Goodman regularly claimed for a £400 a month food bill and thousands of pounds a year on accommodation costs. Claims include £519 rent for a holiday cottage in Durham. She has also spent £1,210 on curtains and cushion covers.

DOUG HENDERSON, Newcastle North

During 2007 he also spent between £100 and £150 on cleaning each month, adding up to a total of £1,095.

In addition he claimed back £100 a month for “service or maintenance” to his home. And he spent £400 on food every month between April 2007 and March 2008, except for August, when he claimed back £200.

STEPHEN HEPBURN, Jarrow

A washing machine cost the taxpayer £450 when the Jarrow MP made his expenses claims. He claimed £3,850 solely on food in the last year – paid for entirely by the public. And he also charged the taxpayer £1,222 for office equipment.

SHARON HODGSON Gateshead East and Washington West

Claims £400 a month for food and £650 for a fridge.

The taxpayer also forked out £160 for her vacuum cleaner, around £600 on a bed and mattress, £50 on a microwave, £47 on a chair and £37 on a toaster.

The fridge was the second claimed for by the MP – in 2005/06 the taxpayer furnished her with a £250 fridge freezer. Also claimed £310 for a washing machine and £152 for electrical goods.

KEVAN JONES, North Durham

Billed the taxpayer for a £1,913 carpet

The taxpayer picked up monthly direct debit bills of £11 for Mr Jones’ TV licence and £33 for a gas service contract. He also filled in expenses forms for £2,075 of food between May 2007 and March 2008. But Mr Jones only claimed back £33 for cleaning for the whole year.

FRASER KEMP, Houghton and Washington East

Often claimed the full £400 a month food costs, and cleaning costs of up to £200 a month.

Previously exposed for claiming for two DVD players, two flat-screen televisions and 16 bed sheets for his one-bedroom London flat.

Also claimed 37p for a spoon. Claims additional furniture cost less frequently than some MPs but bills include a £249 bedroom chest and £887 legal fees. Office costs include regular taxi bills.

DAVID MILIBAND South Shields

Last year he claimed £425 for cleaning, £70 for window cleaning and £441.80 for gardening. Also claimed £412 to have a chair recovered and £200 for a pram.

He claimed £5,838 of building work in his front garden, including replacing a garden wall, putting in a hexagonal paved drive and removing a tree. Mr Miliband claimed £2,550 for furniture.

CHRIS MULLIN, Sunderland South

£16.07 submission for a desk tidy, wall clock, batteries and paper for his Parliamentary office.

Taxpayers also footed the bill for his black-and-white £45.50 TV licence, and £378 for his daily newspapers.

To clean his carpets he submitted a £34.42 invoice and to install beach wood shelves cost the public £220.

DENIS MURPHY, Wansbeck

He claimed £4,000 for food – the maximum allowance of £400 each month for 10 months. He regularly claimed £200 a month in cleaning bills. Items of note are £218 in 2007 for bedding and two filing cabinets.

In 2006 he claimed £429.92 for a dressing table, bedside chest and a double wardrobe. In March 2006 he claimed £963.55 for a rug and curtains and bedding and curtains. In March 2005 he submitted a claim for £1,200 for repairing part of his hallway and redecorating.

PHIL WILSON, Sedgefield

The region’s newest MP, replacing Tony Blair when he stood down to make way for Gordon Brown in 2007. His first year of claims include £487 covering bedroom furniture and regular claims for more than £155 for storage.

:: Go to www.journallive.co.uk/expenses for our special section on MPs' expenses. Find out everything your MP claimed back in our full list of expenses – and see our MPs expenses in pictures gallery – highlighting the more outlandish claims.

Page 3 - Why are the lists blanked out?

Why are the lists blanked out?

HERE is a list of the information MPs were allowed to remove from the expenses disclosure:

:: Any residential address of a Member of either House of Parliament

:: Travel arrangements of a Member where the arrangements are regular in nature

:: The identity of any person who delivers or has delivered goods, or provides or has provided services, to a Member at any residence of the Member

:: Expenditure by a Member on security arrangements

:: All names of hotels/guest houses used

:: Correspondence or advice letters to or from Department of Resources/ DFA

:: Dates and times on till receipts where the name of the supplier is included

:: Bank and credit card statements (but mortgage or rental agreements or statements will be published to the following extent: (a) names of mortgagee/landlord/chargee (b) amount of interest and rent and (c) information contained on statements of account such as value of mortgage)

:: Itemised parts of telephone bills listing calls to individual numbers

:: Personal items on till receipts and invoices for which no claim has been made

:: Misfiled pages relating to another Member

:: Names and addresses and other details of members of staff on ‘C3’ forms (claims for staff expenses)

:: Other information that is not central to the purpose of the claim or which could aid identity fraud including:

:: Personal telephone numbers

:: Barcodes

:: Cost centres and departmental identification numbers personal data of third parties

:: Bank/Giro details

:: Photocopies of cheques

:: Account, invoice, delivery, order, NI or reference numbers

:: Signatures

 

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