Councillor refuses allowance increase
A COUNCILLOR has refused to accept a �4,000 allowance increase which was approved by his colleagues last Thursday.
Members of Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) met to discuss recommendations made by the authority’s Independent Remumeration Panel (IRP) in relation to members’ allowances.
Councillors agreed that the basic allowance paid to all council members remain unchanged at �10,995.60 - twice the amount of most Hertfordshire councils - and that it be frozen for the financial year 2012/13.
The IRP recommended that CBC’s executive member for economic partnerships, Cllr Patricia Turner, receive �10,654.72, and that the executive member for external affairs, Cllr Richard Stay, receive �6,267.48.
But councillors disagreed and voted to award both posts the same allowance of �10,654.72.
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A spokesman for CBC said: “They agreed an amendment to this particular recommendation which stated that in the interests of parity both of these members should be paid on the same rate.”
However, Cllr Stay told The Comet: “I have made it very clear that I will not be claiming more than the IRP has recommended. I have taken the decision that I will forego the increase because I think in these times of austerity I would have felt uncomfortable claiming more than the IRP recommended.”
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The council also agreed to 45p a mile travel expenses - significantly less than North Herts District Council members who receive 65p a mile, and Stevenage Borough Council members who receive 52p a mile.