Ashfield councillors to debate proposed allowance cut

Ashfield District councillor Gail Turner
Ashfield District councillor Gail Turner

An Ashfield councillor says that she and other members should have their allowances slashed to help fund services threatened with cuts.

A motion proposing that the basic allowance for members of Ashfield District Council is cut by £2,000 has been put forward by Selston councillor Gail Turner and will be considered during Thursday’s full council meeting.

Coun Turner also wants to see all special responsibility allowances - extra money given to councillors with additional roles in the council - cut in half.

She said that all the savings made should be used to support council services that are set to see their funding reduced due to cuts in Government grants to the authority.

“With all the cuts to council finances it is high time that councillors took a hit too,” she said.

“This will save the taxpayers of Ashfield £160,000 per annum and should be used to maintain services for Ashfield residents.

“For example, the community protection service which has suffered cuts could be enhanced by employing more officers on the streets, supporting all residents including the old and vulnerable.

“I think that it is wrong to cut services for our residents without cutting these allowances which, when compared to other authorities in the country, are very generous.

“This is not the first time that I have asked for these allowances to be cut - in alternative budgets I have presented I have always asked for a cut in councillor allowances.

“It is time to be fair with Ashfield residents so I hope that this motion presented by me and seconded by Councillor Robert Sears-Piccavey will be successful.”

Councillors on Ashfield District Council received a basic allowance for the year ending 2014/15 of £6,690.51, costing the council more than £220,000.

The leader of the council receives a special responsibility allowance of more than £18,000, with other positions that attract extra money including deputy leader and the chairmen of committees, plus leaders of the political groups.