Mansfield councillors defend allowance scheme

Mansfield Civic Centre.
Mansfield Civic Centre.

Councillors in Mansfield have defended their annual allowances after coming under close scrutiny.

Mansfield District Council agreed the current scheme for paying councillors for their duties should be unaltered for the forthcoming year.

This includes the mayor being paid a special responsibility allowance of £53,682, a year, the deputy mayor taking £18,147, portfolio holders picking up more than £15,000 and the planning committee chairmen eligible for £10,000 a year.

Prior to the meeting, a member of the public questioned the allowance system saying they were ‘grossly excessive’ compared to other district councils in Nottingham.

But Coun Paul Henshaw was quick to defend the allowances.

He said: “Overall, I agree with the report before us.

“There will be some people that disagree with councillors any allowances whatsoever.

“That’s a view I do not agree with.

“If you want a broad and diverse council that represents the district and the people that live in the district you need people on the council that will reflect that.

“ Years ago when there was no allowances you only had people on that were male with the majority in a fortunate position with business and could afford to participate.

“You get a fair wage for a fair day’s work.”

Coun Mick Colley added his support by saying : “I have been here 20 years and I remember you got £2 for a meeting and you had to take a day off work because they were held at 2pm, so I support 
the allowances whole -heartedly.”

Coun Roger Sutcliffe said that if he tallied up the amount of hours put in compared to the allowances, it would not even reach the minimum wage level.

“I do not think that the public realise how many hours are put in,” he added.

The councillors voted unanimously in favour of the recommendations put forward by the independent remuneration panel.