A LABOUR councillor in Glasgow owes more than £13,000 in overdue council tax, The National has discovered.

Cecilia O’Lone, who was elected to represent Calton in the city’s East End last year, is currently paying back £13,020.91 in instalments after agreeing a payment plan.

Other elected members across Scotland who in the last financial year have failed to pay council tax include the SNP’s Lorraine Cameron, who is the Provost of Renfrewshire.

Cameron, who was first elected 18 years ago, was threatened with a summary warrant after running up a debt of £1235.57, according to data unearthed by Private Eye.

Renfrewshire Council also sent a summary warrant to Labour’s Jim Harte for a £449 tax bill.

A spokesperson for Renfrewshire Council said: “No sitting councillors are in council tax arrears. Renfrewshire Council takes a robust approach to collecting council tax.

“We have a consistently high collection rate, which has been above the national average for the last three years, and in the last two years we collected 96 per cent of all council tax owed within that year.”

Out of Scotland’s 32 councils, only Renfrewshire Council and Glasgow were willing to name the elected officials who owed money.

While the law is very clear in England that under Freedom of Information legislation councillors should be named if they are in debt, the law is less certain on the matter north of the Border.

In total, there were around 30 councillors in Scotland who needed to be reminded to pay their council tax.

Summary warrants were issued against six, and one ended up in court.

The figures are not exact, and do not include Perth and Kinross, who would only say less than five of their councillors had been sent reminders, and that less than five had been threatened with court.

Fife Council did not respond to Private Eye’s requests or The National’s follow-up request for a comment.

In Highland Council, where two legal threats were issued, for £925.62 and £1461.30, one of the councillors appealed and won.

In East Lothian two councillors were issued with reminders in relation to their council tax, and one councillor was issued with a summary warrant. The amount owed was £1139.72.

Eight councillors in Glasgow needed to be reminded to pay their tax bills and three were threatened with legal action, according to Private Eye.

Though when The National spoke to Glasgow City Council they told us that the most recent data showed that it was only five councillors who owed taxes.

From the SNP group, which runs the authority, Michelle Ferns owes £1236.80, Elaine McSporran owes £7772.80 and Elspeth Kerr must pay £8796.52.

From the Labour group, as well as Councillor O’Lone, Labour’s Gary Gray is due to pay £592.07.

If councillors owe money to the local authority they could find their powers restricted.

Under Section 112 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 elected members cannot vote on certain budget matters if they are two or more months in arrears.

If they attend formal meetings about council tax they then have to declare their debt.

Not doing so could see them pushed further into debt, as they’ll have committed an offence and be liable to pay a fine of up to £1000.

There may be justifiable reasons why some councillors have not paid up, such as the collapse of businesses, serious illness, bereavement or family crises.

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: “Council tax supports a wide range of frontline services. It is important that everyone that can pay does pay.”

An SNP spokeswoman said: “Those councillors with historic arrears have been on payment plans since their election and are paying arrears off as quickly as possible.”

Labour did not respond to requests for a comment. None of the councillors named in this article responded to requests for a comment.