A City Hall audit panel called for an urgent review of Assembly members expenses today, after it was revealed that one member had spent over £18,000 of public money on taxi fares in two years.
Conservative Assembly Member and recently appointed chair of LFEPA Brian Coleman, was heavily criticised last year for spending in excess of £10,000 on taxis.
However, even after this warning, he has continued to waste huge amounts, leading to a situation where his taxi bill for the past year is almost half of the total for all assembly members.
No member of the audit panel was willing to mention Coleman by name, but Liberal Democrat Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon said that the sums spent by "one or two members" were "quite staggering." She told the panel:
"I can see why it is sometimes appropriate to take a taxi but I cannot see how some members claim thousands of pounds of what is public money while others manage to claim nothing."
As well as claiming £8231 for taxis for 2007/8, Coleman also claimed the maximum £1720 for the use of a travelcard, bringing the total cost of shunting him around London to almost £10,000 for the year.
The panel expressed dismay that the situation had been allowed to continue for so long after being so publicly highlighted.
It was agreed that an urgent review should be undertaken into the ways in which assembly member's expenses are monitored and approved. No official statement has yet been made.