Suffolk: County councillors vote for an increase in allowances

Mark Bee, leader of Suffolk County Council.

Mark Bee, leader of Suffolk County Council. - Credit: Ashley Pickering

Members of Suffolk County Council have voted themselves a 1% increase in allowances for the next four years.

And they have also approved making an allowance available to the chair of county’s new Health and Wellbeing board.

The move, which was recommended by an independent panel and had the backing of the ruling Conservative group, was approved by 40 votes to 6 with 14 abstentions.

The main opposition Labour Party abstained in the vote – the group’s deputy leader Bryony Rudkin had said that the group felt it was wrong for councillors to have to vote on their own allowances, they should be set by the government.

Council leader Mark Bee had said he would support the move because it was modest, and it would represent the only increase for the next four years.

He said he would only be supporting the rise because council workers were also being offered a 1% rise this year – it would have been wrong for councillors to support any increase in allowances if staff were still facing a pay freeze.

The increase, to come in from April 1, will see the basic allowance for councillors increase by £102 a year, from £10,172 to £10,174 a year.

The total allowance for council leader Mark Bee will go up by £356 from £35,602 to £35,958.