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Allowances figures is 'second highest'
Figures released yesterday show Bradford’s 90 councillors are paid the second highest basic allowance of any authority in Yorkshire.
The TaxPayers’ Alliance has collated the data from local authorities across the UK, which reveals massive differences in the basic amount paid to members.
In Yorkshire, Leeds City Council tops the table, paying £14,781.07 last year to each of its 99 councillors. The auth-ority is, however, the largest in the region, with a population of 751,500. Bradford Council comes in second, paying £13,042.94 to its 90 councillors, yet is the third largest local authority area in Yorkshire, with a population of 522,500. Meanwhile, the second largest local authority, Sheffield City Council, with a population of 552,700 and 84 councillors, paid £11,742.
The TaxPayers’ Alliance has also launched an online tool that allows people to see for themselves what their locally-elected representatives are paid for the role. Visit taxpayersalliance.com/councillors-allowances for details.
Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Many taxpay-ers will be surprised at how much the amount paid varies from one council to the next.
“Local people should be able to see how much cash their councillors are taking in allowances and compare the cost with nearby councils. This kind of transparency will allow them to decide for themselves whether they are getting good value for money.”
Councillor Imran Hussain, deputy leader of the Labour-run council, said: “Bradford’s basic allowance is set by an independent panel, and is comparable to similar large authorities.
“People quite rightly expect local councillors to be hard-working, accessible and accountable and the job can involve a considerable amount of work and long, unsociable hours.
“Overall, I think the public gets value for money in terms of the contribution made by councillors to local communities, but it is right the situation is kept under regular review.”
Councillor Glen Miller, leader of the Conservatives on the council, said: “I dare say if you turned it into an hourly rate, it wouldn’t reach the minimum wage.”
A recent review of Bradford councillors’ allowances, published in July, stated: “The current Bradford allowances scheme by no means over-rewards Bradford councillors. The Bradford basic allowance is in line with, or lower than, that of comparable councils.”
Following the independent panel findings, major changes were agreed to the allowances paid to councillors taking on additional responsibilities to save about £100,000 a year.
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