'Most top jobs come with a car' - 11 things you said about Sunderland Council's spend on transport for mayors
The revelation that Sunderland City Council has spent more than Â£40,000 on mayoral transport since 2015 has split opinion.
The figures were released this week by the TaxPayers' Alliance - and also showed that the money was spent on leasing two Volvos and a Nissan Leaf, as well as covering insurance bills for the vehicles.
And while the Alliance called on mayors across the country to fund their own travel, Sunderland's cabinet secretary cited the "significant work" done by the mayoralty in the community, as well as raising thousands of pounds for the city's good causes.
On our Facebook page, dozens of you reacted to the news with some calling for the council to find cheaper ways to travel. Others argued that the "extraordinarily long hours" justify the spend, and that other councils in the country likely claim more than Sunderland's £42,000.
Here are some of your comments on the story:
Helen Freeman: "Does he/she not have a car of their own? Does the position of mayor need to include a new car every year?"
Jackson Stubbs: "Consider how much the mayors raise for various good causes whilst in post. Iain Kay raised thousands for Sunderland Carers’ Centre whilst mayor.
"I’m not saying there isn’t a more cost effective way for them to get from A to B but let’s also not pretend they spend their entire year in office going from one free lunch to the next!"
Louise Dodds: "Most top jobs come with a car do they not? I see no difference, and I’m pretty sure every council is the same."
Martin Allison: "A fact in isolation can be misconstrued - the mayors will no doubt have to work extraordinarily long hours, attend many events and be prepared everywhere they go - work out how much an 'ambassador' for the city should be remunerated/ cost of transport etc. Let’s think of the bigger picture."
John Bowes: "Why not get a cheaper car? I am sure there are many such vehicles available and suitable for the job. This sort of spending is a disgrace."
Anita Short: "Imagine how much it is down south. They claim a lot more than Sunderland."
Brian Curley Pyle: "Go green get him a bike."
Mel Garraghan-Moore: "Do we even need a mayor?"
Joanne Huntrod: "Get rid and put the money into cleaning the streets."
Mary Pinder: "No I'm paying bedroom tax same as a lot of people, pay to get my brown bin emptied £25 for 8 month,s other bins get emptied once a fortnight, gave us some of [our] money back. More in NHS, police, paramedics and for elderly. That would make better sense."
John Quinn: "Depends on the money the mayor brought into the city..which I'm sure will have surpassed the cost of the car and their drivers wages."