Friday, 7 January 2011

5% Cut in Councillors' Allowances

Allowances paid to the councillors on Teignbridge are to be cut under plans from the Liberal Democrats.

Teignbridge has already announced it is freezing Council Tax this year and there will be no increase in car park charges. Council Leader Alan Connett says all allowances will be cut by 5% and the special responsibility payments made to Leaders of the councillor groupings on the authority will be scrapped.

If backed by councillors, the proposals will save £23,000 a year in addition to the ongoing saving achieved because Teignbridge councillors have frozen allowances for the past few years.

Cllr Connett said:” The Government has cut the grant to Teignbridge by about £1.3 million from April and we are looking at all areas of our work to cut costs, while maintaining key public services.

“Staff benefits such as car allowances and mileage payments are also under consideration and we need to look at Member Allowances too.

“Usually, an Independent Panel would advise on allowances, but in preparing for the new council budget we need to look at the costs to the authority and make savings while not discouraging people from all walks of life standing for the council and serving their community, he added.

Every Teignbridge councillor will see their Basic Allowance cut by about £262 a year to around £4,969. Special responsibility allowances paid to chairs and vice chairs of committees such as planning, scrutiny, licensing, executive members and the Leader of the Council will also be cut by 5%. The allowance for Group Leaders will be scrapped altogether.

Other cost savings include scrapping the council’s award winning community newspaper, saving £100,000 on advertising by publishing only legal notices and essential information such as holiday refuse arrangements and sharing the chief executive with another Devon council to save £50,000 a year.

Plans for the cut in allowances will be presented on Monday (January 10) when the Teignbridge Executive committee meets to discuss the initial budget proposals for the year ahead. If agreed when the council confirms its budget in February, the changes will take effect from the start of the new financial year.

No comments: