Burnley Council leaders facing allowance cut
AN increase of £200 in allowances for each councillor could see expenses for leaders at Burnley Council slashed.
A report to go before full council on Wednesday claims some councillors are finding themselves ‘out of pocket’.
But leaders of all political parties said their members did not wish for any increase to strain the council budget.
Instead they will be asked to consider ‘redistributing’ the level of expenses across different levels of the council.
The Independent Renumeration Panel, which reviewed expenses, said the plan would create ‘winners and losers’.
It would see councillors with ‘special responsibilities’ receive less from now on. The plan would reduce leader Julie Cooper’s allowance by £656 but it would increase the deputy leader’s allowance by £143 and the allowances of executive members on the cabinet by £409.
The changes would allow an extra £200 allowance a year to each of the 45 members, up £2,700.
IRP chair Brenda Rochester said: “For several years now, the councillor’s basic allowance has become increasingly depressed in comparison with those of neighbouring local councillors.
“Evidence from neighbouring authorities’ shows that Burnley continues to remain behind at the basic allowance level.
“However the leader’s allowance is in the mid to high bracket. We feel there is justification to rationalise the basic and special responsibility allowances in a more equitable way but one which also keeps within the current budget of £188,682.
“Our proposal to redistribute the allowances within budget means there are some winners and some losers. The projected budget for members’ allowances for 2014/15 is £194,000.
“We are recommending that the budget for 2014/15 is kept at the current level of £188,682 thereby making a saving to the council of £5,318.”
Proposals will be reviewed at 7pm on Wednesday at Burnley Town Hall.