LABOUR Councillor Sanctioned After Taking Taxpayer Cash Despite Leaving Role

A LABOUR Councillor from Rotherham continued to accept a wage for being on the pensions board, despite standing down from the role fifteen months ago.

Councillor Sue Ellis, currently chair of the licensing board, stood before the standards and ethics committee sub-committee accused of failing to alert the council and continuing to accept taxpayer cash for a role she no longer performed.

The Labour councillor for Wickersley was found to have brought the council into disrepute following the hearing, which found that she had continued to receive payments from the council for her position as chair of the South Yorkshire Pensions Authority, 15 months after leaving the position.

Rotherham: Councillor Sue Ellis 'did not notice' £9,000 overpayment - BBC  News
Cllr Ellis claims not to have noticed the cash going into her account each month

Although Coun Ellis left the position in May, 2019, she continued to receive an alleged £600 per month wage until August, 2020.

Cllr Allen Cowles, Leader of Rotherham Democratic Party Group, and the man who lodged the complaint, said that the incident demonstrated “unacceptable behaviour” from the Labour councillor.

He added that he had raised the complaint with the standards and ethics committee after the local Labour party had failed to take action, and that although the finance team had issued an apology for the error, the council was not solely to blame.

Councillor Cowles said that he found it “hard to accept” that Cllr Ellis, who has since returned the cash, did not notice that she was receiving £600 more than she should each month.

A series of sanctions against Ellis were agreed at the meeting, including censuring her and reporting the findings to full council.

It is not yet known if Ellis will be stepping down.

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