THE leader of Pembrokeshire County Council has dismissed suggestions he submitted four years worth of expenses claims almost a week after the closing date for nominations for the 2012 elections as “poor book keeping”.

Councillor Jamie Adams’ backdated claims were brought to light on Councillor Mike Stoddart’s Old Grumpy website, following his inspection of the council’s accounts.

The leader did not make any travel expenses claims in 2009/10 nor 2011/12, and put in a claim for just £311 in 2010/11.

But in 2012/13 Cllr Adams was paid £4,649 in expenses - which included claims going as far back as 2008.

Pembrokeshire County Council has a three-month time limit for claims to be submitted.

The leader’s timing was “interesting”, Cllr Stoddart said, because the claims were submitted on April 10th 2012 – too late for inclusion in the 2011/12 accounts and almost a week after the closing date for the nominations for the 2012 elections.

Responding, Cllr Adams said the claims accounted for half of what he was eligible to claim for. When asked why the claims had been back dated over four years, he said: “It’s poor bookkeeping on my behalf. I got out of the habit of claiming and it’s my fault entirely. “The chance came at the end of the council term to reflect on a number of things and update everything ready for the next term of council. “I accept that this is not a position I should be in with claims going in late.” He added: “I have been told by the director of finance to make sure I keep up to date with expenses claims in the future. “I have accepted that and my claims this year have been in line with that advice.

“All of the claims are fully approved in respect of being approved duties – there’s no question of that.”

Cllr Adams added: “It’s very easy for Councillor Stoddart to highlight the fact cabinet members’ claim for travelling, but perhaps what he doesn’t allow for is cabinet members travelling in their roles as opposed to meetings at County Hall.”

But Cllr Stoddart said: “He’s the leader of the council – if he can’t keep all his expenses claims up-to-date what hope is there of him running the council.

“We are not talking about a couple of weeks – this is four years worth of claims dating back to 2008.”

A council spokesman said a three-month time limit for claims to be submitted was in place, but “nothing prevents the authority from making a payment where the allowance is not claimed within this period.”