Councillors set for rise in allowances

PUBLISHED: 11:32 11 January 2007 | UPDATED: 14:57 12 May 2010

COUNCILLORS on North Herts District Council are set to give themselves a rise. They are expected to approve an increase in allowances for the coming year at a council meeting later this month. The basic allowance for each councillor will increase from £3,

COUNCILLORS on North Herts District Council are set to give themselves a rise.

They are expected to approve an increase in allowances for the coming year at a council meeting later this month.

The basic allowance for each councillor will increase from £3,075 to £3,476.

The figure has been set by an independent panel which looked into allowances for councillors and is expected to cost a total of £257,580 for 2007-08.

This is an increase of £26,050 is last year's council budget for allowances.

In a report the panel said that the expenses recognised the commitment of members. It said that the council had to ensure that financial loss was not suffered by councillors.

A survey of members working on council business showed that during the past 12 months there had been an increase in councillors discussing issues with constituents.

Members said that time had increased too, on discussing matters with council staff and attending committee meetings.

In coming to a conclusion, the panel looked at allowance payments of other councils.

These showed that elsewhere payments were £5,012 (Colchester Borough Council), £4,224 (Braintree District Council), £3,000 (East Hants District Council) and £2,997 (South Bedfordshire District Council).

Other increases to be considered are for members who have special responsibility.

This means as well as the basic allowance leader of the council Cllr F John Smith will receive an additional payment of £6,912 and Cabinet portfolio members will get £4,189.

The chairman of the Royston area committee will be getting £2,827.

Councillors using computers at home will receive £300 in an allowance to help meet the costs.

The survey of members showed that 80 per cent believed that members' allowances did not compare "favourably" with other local authorities.

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