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Councillor allowances show record drop
8:00am Thursday 6th September 2012 in News
NEW figures show Brentwood Council has recorded one of the largest national decreases in what is paid to councillors.
The figures released by the TaxPayers’ Alliance show Brentwood Council has cut councillors’ allowances by 10 per cent in recent years.
In 2010/11 the average basic allowance paid to its councillors was £6,612, but in 2011/12 that amount was reduced to £5,950.
All councillors in the UK are entitled to a basic allowance and those who hold cabinet positions are entitled to receive a special responsibility allowance as well.
Every councillor can also claim for mileage and subsistence on top of the allowances they receive.
Louise McKinlay, council leader, said: “I’m pleased to see the TaxPayers’ Alliance note that we are joint second in the national league table of councils which have reduced their basic councillor allowance.
"We are continually looking to save our taxpayers money. In addition, I personally do not make any claims for subsistence allowances, which includes the cost of meals, nor for travel allowances when on council business. I fund these personally.”
Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the alliance, said: “With local authorities up and down the country having to rein in spending and many public sector staff facing a pay freeze, it’s important local politicians retain moral authority to make tough decisions by leading by example.”
Mrs McKinlay added: “The money saved has been ploughed back into frontline services, which has allowed us to increase spending on matters of importance to residents, by nearly eight per cent this year, while also delivering a council tax cut of 2.1 per cent.
“I do not know of any other council in the country, which has both cut council tax and increased frontline spending at the same time.”