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David Parsons 'must pay up or we'll send round the bailiffs' - County Hall


County Hall could send in the bailiffs to recover more than £4,000 it is owed by former leader David Parsons.

Councillor Parsons was invoiced for £4,089.84 more than a month ago in relation to expenses he claimed for Euro-pean travel which he then failed to promptly repay to the authority.

Yesterday, Leicestershire County Council officials said the debt had not been settled, despite two reminder letters being sent to Coun Parsons.

They said if he did not pay up by Thursday or respond to the letter, a third notice would be sent out telling him to pay by the end of the month and failing that legal action to recover the debt will be commenced.

A senior source at County Hall said: "He has been invoiced and sent reminders that the debt needs to be paid.

"So far, it hasn't been, so we will continue to pursue it.

"If that doesn't work it will be handled no differently to the way we deal with any debtor – eventually we'll send the bailiffs round."

Coun Parsons quit as Conservative leader of the county council in June after being found to have breached the councillors code of conduct over his travel expenses. On Tuesday, he resigned from the County Council's Conservative group – the day before colleagues were due to meet to consider expelling him from it.

They then pressed ahead with his expulsion with a unanimous vote and published a report into Coun Parsons' conduct which revealed the outstanding debt.

It relates to sums claimed by Coun Parsons for 39 trips he made while sitting on the Committee of the Regions (CoR) in Brussels. He claimed cash for travel from the organisation which he should have quickly repaid to County Hall. At one stage, about £5,000 had built up in his personal bank account.

A spokeswoman for County Hall said a further sum on top of the £4,089.84 had been identified for repayment by Coun Parsons, who remains on the authority as an independent member for Kirby Muxloe and Leicester Forest East.

Coun Parsons also faces a further standards investigation in allegations that he misused the council's civic car during his time as leader.

She said: "There will be a further invoice for £133.30 for an event held in Durham in September 2005. Other costs may be invoiced following the conclusion of the second standards investigation into the use of a chauffeur-driven car.

"The invoice (for the £4089.84) was issued on the October 4.

"The first reminder was sent on October 19 and the second reminder has been sent.

"If no response or payment is received by November 15, a final letter will be sent requesting payment, stating we will look to commence legal proceedings if payment is not forthcoming."

Coun Parsons was unavailable for comment yesterday. He has already paid back £2,300.

He previously denied he owed any further money, saying he had not been paid by the CoR for the 39 trips, with the exception of a mistake in 2006 when he received 80 euros.

Last night, it emerged Coun Parsons had been suspended from Blaby District Council's Tory group by leader Ernie White.

Coun White declined to comment but a Tory source said the suspension, on Thursday morning, was at the leader's discretion "for bringing the party into disrepute".

David Parsons 'must pay up or we'll send round the bailiffs' -  County Hall

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