The leader of an authority which has been recommended an allowance increase for councillors of almost 10% has said he wished there was an alternative to the current “awful” system.

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Mid Suffolk district councillors will vote on Monday on the proposed increase of the basic annual allowance –from £3,684 to £4,000.

An independent remuneration panel has recommended the increase along with rises – in some cases by more than 100% – to other entitlements.

Derrick Haley, Conservative leader of the council, said: “I think we have always had a problem with anything to do with this – voting for ourselves. It’s not a good way of doing it; no-one likes doing it.

“My first reaction is that I have never liked it – it’s like MPs voting for their own expenses. It’s an awful system; I have never been comfortable with anything like this.”

The proposals would mean the vice-chairman of the council would see their allowance – on top of the basic allocation – rise from £921 to £2,000. The deputy leader of the council would also be entitled to £6,000, compared to the current £4,146, for their additional work.

It is the first review of allowances for six years and does mean some councillors will lose out for taking on extra work.

Opposition leader, Green councillor Andrew Stringer, has concerns funds could be stripped from the joint scrutiny committee.

The proposed allowance for the joint scrutiny chairman would fall from £3,684 to £2,000. While the deputy scrutiny leader would receive no allowance compared to the current £921.

Mr Stringer said: “I personally do not vote for any increases while I’m in office. I have no doubt that some councillors earn the allowances they get but there’s times when the public question whether some do enough to warrant it.

“But I personally think that the report is about right, but I will not be voting in favour of the rise.”

The allowances claimed by the council’s 40 councillors in 2012/13 totalled more than £243,000.

The basic allowance for several senior councillors will remain unchanged.

4 comments

  • To put this issue into its correct context: * Mid Suffolk councillors have had no allowance increases since 2008 * the maximum overall effect of the proposed restructuring of allowances would equate to a less than 7% uplift * therefore, a less than 7% increase over a six year period is what is being proposed by the independent remuneration panel Paul Simon, Corporate Manager- Communications, Babergh & Mid Suffolk District Councils

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    BaberghComms

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • more extra perks [ tea and coffee and sandwiches are most likley on top of the allowances.

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    TERENCE MANNING

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • What is the allowance used for? All councillors should have PA's provided by the Council.

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    zaax

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

  • Why should they get an allowance they are not school children. They get enough money as it is so why give them more to spend on gardening or money to do up their house or should I say their second or third house

    Report this comment

    rescue125

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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