The authority's Audit and Governance Committee met today (May 31) and scrutinised the draft statement of accounts for the financial year 2018\/19. The documents show the net expenditure of the mayor's office rose from £149,000 in 2017\/18 to £325,000 in the last financial year. The Combined Authority's head of finance, Jon Alsop, said the reason for the difference is that the mayor was still new in the role and appointing staff. The mayor, Conservative James Palmer, was elected in May 2017. But the independent chair of the committee Jon Pye said the public will want a further explanation on variances of this size, and said after "the controversy in the last 12 months" additional detail ought to be added in future. The mayor's office net expenditure for the financial year 17\/18 was £146,000, rising to £349,000. There was no income in 17\/18, but there was an income of £24,000 the following year.