A mayor who was last year caught snorting white powder has upgraded his taxpayer-funded car, claiming his current vehicle is too small for his chauffeur.
Councillor Neil Rix, the mayor of Dover, currently charges the taxpayer £3,590 just for the lease on his £26,759 Toyota Prius hybrid.
However, his request for a budget increase to £5,000 a year has been approved by Dover Town Council and Cllr Rex now has his eye on a £30k Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Skoda Superb Hatch SE l Executive or a Volvo S90 hybrid T8 twin, according to Kent Live.
The mayor’s five-year contract means the total cost to the taxpayer would be £25,000 – an increase of over £7,000.
Cllr Rix claims his chauffeur “is above average height” for a British man and his “head touches the roof” when driving the Prius.
Justifying the request, he added: “The make of vehicle should reflect the prestige and status of the mayoralty.”
Dover Town Councillor Peter Wallace blasted the decision, saying Cllr Rix just “wants a big gangster car”.
He said: “People like nurses do a really important job and they don’t have a car, but the mayor just goes about meeting people and eating sandwiches.
“At the same meeting a spokesman from the Outreach Centre came along to talk about how they need funding to give homeless people beds for the night and training to get a job.”
A spokesman for Dover Town Council said “environmental factors and economical running costs will be taken into account” when choosing the car.
He added: “Councillors also agreed leasing the civic car up to £5,000 per year is the most cost-effective option.”
Cllr Rex refused to resign when he was filmed snorting an unidentified white powder in a clip that was later deleted from YouTube.
Claiming he was being blackmailed and had no idea what he was snorting, he added: “I’m not standing down. I just feel I have let down my family but I will get over it. I have had a lot of support from friends and family, people that know me.”
Top pic: Rex