EAST Lancs councils have spent tens of thousands on mayoral cars since 2015.

Blackburn with Darwen Council tops the list with a £21,141 outlay on leasing an Audi A6, with an extra £3,001 being spent on fuelling the car - a total of £24,143.

Burnley Council leased an Audi Quattro A8 at a cost of £18,263 to the taxpayer, with a further £1,119 going on fuel and £2,303 on maintenance.

In Hyndburn, the borough council spent £12,178 fuelling and leasing a Mercedes C-220, while Rossendale Council spent £12,853 over the three years.

Lancashire does not have a mayor so the county council did not spend anything on mayoral transport since 2015.

The figures were revealed as part of a series of Freedom of Information requests by the TaxPayers’ Alliance.

Pendle and Ribble Valley Councils failed to respond to their requests.

Nationally, 207 local authorities spent £4.5m on cars for mayors, lord mayors, lord provosts and and their equivalents.

Over that same time period, council tax in England has increased by an average of £188.

John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Taxpayers are tired of hearing local authorities say they have no money left when there are still instances of excessive spending.

“Some travel will of course be necessary to conduct duties but families who struggle to pay their council tax bill will roll their eyes at the thought of their hard-earned money being spent on Bentleys and Jaguars for politicians to attend functions.

“40 per cent of councils didn’t lease or buy cars, so all other local authorities should follow that example and encourage civic leaders to use cheaper forms of transport.

“Every penny wasted on excessive travel expenses is money that could be going towards social care or bin collections.”

Cllr Andy Kay, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s executive member for resources, said: “The mayor plays an extremely valuable and important role as an ambassador for the borough, attending between 350 and 400 engagements annually.

“A vehicle is necessary to enable the mayor to fulfil his or her civic and memorial duties safely, and we ensure that we get the best value for money when we lease the mayoral vehicle.

"The current vehicle also has an AdBlue system fitted which makes it more fuel efficient, which cuts running costs, while at the same time reducing the amount of harmful emissions."

Big-spending councils included Glasgow (£107,661), Hull (£94,471) and Milton Keynes (£67,305).

In total, local authorities spent £2,745,097 on buying and leasing cars over the three-year period.

At least 252 cars are owned or leased by local authorities across the UK for the use of the mayor (or equivalent figure).

Three local authorities (Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East and Kensington and Chelsea) own a Bentley Continental Flying Spur (from £132,800).

Other luxury vehicles used by UK councils’ mayors included the Audi A8 (from £69,415), BMW 7 (from £63,040), Jaguar XJ (from £62,360), Mercedes S class (from £70,470) and Lexus RX (from £48,655).