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Green light for extra councillor allowances
Major changes in the amounts paid to some councillors who take on additional responsibilities have been approved during a meeting of Bradford Council.
Labour and the Conservatives teamed up to vote through plans for the special responsibility allowances, which key councillors are entitled to claim on top of the basic allowance of £13,043 a year.
An independent review panel had sought changes to the system that would have saved about £115,000 a year.
But Labour put forward about £100,000 of changes, which include scrapping any additional payments to the leader, deputy leader and chief whip of a political group that does not hold 15 per cent or more of the council membership. This change automatically means the Liberal Democrats, which now hold eight seats on the authority, not the 13.5 required, will lose allowances worth more than £40,000.
Both the Lib Dems and Greens voted against Labour’s plans, but were outvoted by the two main parties.
Other changes include:
- paying the chairmen of scrutiny, corporate governance and audit, planning, licensing and regulatory and appeals committees the same amount, which is 35 per cent of the leader’s special responsibility allowance (currently ranges from 35 to 45 per cent)
- paying opposition shadow executive members 12.5 per cent of the leader’s allowance, or £4,488 (Conservative councillors shadowing Labour executive members currently do not receive anything extra)
- paying members of the planning, fostering and adoption panels the equivalent of £2,872, or eight per cent of the leader’s allowance as an extra payment.
Rules stating councillors can only claim one special responsibility allowance still apply.
Prior to the meeting, council leader Councillor David Green said: “It’s the council’s job to set the budget, and while I can understand why the remuneration panel took notice of the budget decision, it’s up to the council to deliver the budget savings.”