TPA call for councillors’ allowances to be slashed

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A council is being urged to slash councillors’ allowances as the final decision to slash £154m from its budget looms closer.

The TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) - an independent group campaigning to lower taxes - has warned that Nottinghamshire County Council should look at the cash councillors receive.

The council has already warned that up to 800 jobs are under threat, and that services will suffer across the board because of a reduction in Government funding for the council.

In 2012, the council was named as the highest paying county authority in England - with each member receiving £12,906 a year, before additional ‘special responsibility’ allowances are added.

Robert Oxley, TPA campaign director said: “The council has to rein in spending and must reduce the bill for staff pay which should apply to councillors too.

“Many taxpayers will be surprised that not only does Nottinghamshire County Council pay one of the highest basic allowances in the country, but also awards nearly every councillor a special responsibility allowance.

“Residents should be able to see how much cash their councillors are taking and compare the cost with nearby councils to judge whether they represent value for money.”

Jayne Francis-Ward, corporate director at the council, said setting allowances is reviewed by an independent panel, separate to the budget-setting process.

Last year the panel’s recommendation to increase the allowances was rejected, she claimed.

She said: “When a one per cent increase recommended under their formula linking allowances to the pay of employees, it was rejected in favour of a fourth successive freeze. This freeze equates to a reduction of more than 10 per cent in real terms.”