TPA holds councils to account for basic allowance payments
Councillor allowances have increased by up to 28% in some local authorities in comparison to last year, the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) has announced.
Following the launch of a TPA online database collating information on the payment of councillor allowances, the campaigning organisation has highlighted that dramatic disparities exist between remuneration undertaken by many local authorities.
The greatest rise in the basic allowance payments offered by councils was found in Boston BC, where payment increased from £2,378 in 2010/11 to £3,052 in 2011/12.
Large increases were also seen in Slough BC and North Hertforshire DC, where basic allowance payments rose by nearly 20% over last year, while a 23% rise was seen in Mid Devon DC.
In comparison, Tewkesbury BC reduced their payments by 19% to £7,200 over this period.
Gelding BC, North Lincolnshire Council, Three Rivers DC, and Castle Point BC were shown to have all decreased basic allowance payments by 10%.
Paying £12,906 over last year, Nottinghamshire was identified by the TPA as the English county council offering the greatest amount of basic allowance to its councillors, with Northamptonshire CC shown to be providing the lowest.
The London Borough of Croydon was shown to be paying the highest basic allowance in the capital, giving out £3,711 more than Kingston, which was highlighted as providing the lowest amount to its councillors.
Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TPA, said: ‘With local authorities up and down the country having to rein in spending and many public sector staff facing a pay freeze, those councillors who have awarded themselves an increase in their allowances in defiance of government advice should hang their heads in shame. They cannot retain the moral authority to make tough decisions on council spending if they believe their own allowances should be immune.’
Responding to the findings, Peter Fleming, chairman of the Local Government Association improvement board, said: ‘Councillors play a vital role in local communities and typically spend more than 20 hours each week working on behalf of residents. The average allowance is around £7,000 per year, and given the time commitment involved the motivation to be a councillor is clearly not the remuneration.’
‘Allowances are a matter for individual local authorities and are decided democratically on the advice of independent remuneration panels,’ Fleming said.
"motivation to be a councillor is clearly not the remuneration" - 'course not, double-digit %age increases really don't motivate; any more than zero % increases for staff do...Discontented local government, Added: Friday, 31 August 2012 03:25 PM
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