A COUNCIL could be about to crack down on its members' allowances and expenses.

The standards committee at Lewisham Council met on November 24 and agreed restrictions on overnight subsistence allowance, taxi fares, free parking and mobile phone allowances.

The recommendations are expected to be considered by the full council sometime in the middle of next year.

If approved, councillors would no longer be able to claim a flat overnight subsistence allowance of £79.82 to cover meals, travel, and hotel expenses for overnight stays.

Instead any stay outside London would have to be approved in advance with exact costs published on the council's website.

Council officers would no longer be able to book and pay for councillors' taxis. Members would need to pay for the taxi and then submit a reimbursement claim which would be scanned and published on the internet.

In addition. all forms of first class travel would be abolished and free parking privileges around the borough would be reconsidered and a decision made by the council's chief executive, Barry Quirk.

Finally mobile phones would be handed out to all councillors with a requirement that any non-council-related calls are identified and reimbursed.

Chairman of the standards committee, Sally Hawkins, said: "We recognised the public is concerned about how elected people claim expenses and we wanted to make sure Lewisham residents are assured there will be no abuse in the borough.

"We decided it was important that the system is transparent so that people can see that what is being claimed is reasonable."

But there is some good news for councillors. One of the recommendations is to introduce a cycling allowance to encourage members to be green.