ALMOST £270,000 of taxpayer's money has been spent on overnight accommodation for councillors and council staff in just three years.

Since 2017 the money has been used to fund business trips to various cities across the globe which aims to benefit the council and constituents in Glasgow.

In 2017 some £99,290 was spent on hotel stays. The figure increased to £110,460 in 2018 and dropped to £59,944 in 2019.

The shortest trip was one night and the longest, which saw a humanitarian aid visit to Malawi, was 12 nights.

A summary of each councillors expenses and travel expenses for 2019/2020 is also available on the council's website.

A total of £71,491 in expenses has been claimed in the first six months of this financial year with £47,250 in travel.

Since 2004 the local authority has been a part of the Scotland Malawi partnership to help the people access education and healthcare.

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Every year in September the Lord Provost’s international officer travels to Malawi to carry out charitable work, with other officers, as part of the local authority's continuing commitment to help the people of Malawi. No elected members have been since 2014 when former Lord Provost Sadie Docherty visited.

The project aims to improve access to modern health facilities. They provide IT equipment, software and technical training to teaching and technical staff in schools, colleges and universities.

Local government staff, as well as medical and administrative staff in hospitals and clinics have also benefitted from the scheme.

Other business trips include ones made on behalf of the licensing committee who have been visiting various different local authorities across the country to establish ways they can punish and prevent taxi drivers and private hire car drivers taking part in criminal offences.

More senior members of the council will visit other cities in the UK and abroad to see how they can better improve lighting, sustainability and connectivity across the city.

There have also been discussions on environmental issues. Councillors and staff are required to take part in these visits to see what is being done differently across the globe and how effective measures can be implemented in Glasgow.

A source said: "Councillors are ambassadors for the city. If we don't visit other cities then we can't replicate successful schemes in Glasgow.

"It is a good use of money and will benefit everyone in the future."

A list of councillors expenses, including their gross income, has also been published on Glasgow City Council's website.

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So far Leader of the Council, councillor Susan Aitken has claimed £4485 in expenses for compared to former Conservative group leader councillor David Meikle who claimed just £41.

Around £3805 was spent on councillor Aitken's accommodation and £531 on her travel requirements. Just £41 was spent on councillor Meikle's telephone and ICT needs. 

Expenses for the next six months will be published in due course. 

Under government legislation, the council's elected members are entitled to receive a remuneration package.

The package consists of salary, subsistence, reimbursement of hotel accommodation and travel expenses.

A council spokeswoman said: “Councillors carry out a very important job promoting the city and attracting inward investment as well as prestigious cultural and sporting events.

“As elected members they are Glasgow’s ambassadors, raising the profile of the city at home and abroad.

"This can involve domestic and international travel and associated expenditure, which elected members are reimbursed for carrying out their duties, for the benefit of our citizens and the city.”