Councillors' allowance to go up

A basic cash allowance to people serving as councillors on Breckland Council is to be increased next year to £5,200.The increase of 2.2pc on this year's rate has been recommended by an independent remuneration panel appointed by the council to look at how much councillors get in annual allowances for the work they do.

A basic cash allowance to people serving as councillors on Breckland Council is to be increased next year to £5,200.

The increase of 2.2pc on this year's rate has been recommended by an independent remuneration panel appointed by the council to look at how much councillors get in annual allowances for the work they do.

On top of the basic annual allowance, which was £5,089 this year, councillors can also get a raft of other allowances, ranging from £58 for sitting on scrutiny and task groups to £20,800 per year for the leader of the council, currently William Nunn, up from £20,354 this year, according to a report.

The biggest increase, some £855, if approved by councillors, is to be made to allowances paid to chairmen of the council's audit, general purposes and standards committees, from £4,345 this year to £5,200 next year.

Co-opted members of the standards committee would get an increase of £561 to £900 and chairmen of the overview and scrutiny commission and development control board, the deputy leader and the six executive members are to get an extra £236, £11,050 compared to £10,814 this year.

Other allowances include £2,600 to the leader of the main opposition group, Labour's Robin Goreham and £1,850 to executive support members.

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The new rates are due to come into force from January 1, 2009 and are outlined in a report to the full council meeting tomorrow when councillors can decide to adopt them, or not.

While most will see an increase in their allowances, the chairman of the licensing committee, will see his or her allowance cut by just over £3,000 from £10,814 to £7,800.

This was because since the initial transferral of powers of licences for pubs and shops selling alcohol were taken over by the district council, the workload has dropped, according to the report.

A childcare allowance of £5.75 per hour, with a maximum of £25 per authorised duty, remains the same.

Councillors have the option not to claim their allowances.

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