Allowances frozen

A CASH claw back system that would have seen absentee councillors hand over their allowance if they missed too many meetings, has been stopped in its tracks. The idea was conceived by an independent remuneration panel after they noted several elected memb

A CASH claw back system that would have seen absentee councillors hand over their allowance if they missed too many meetings, has been stopped in its tracks.

The idea was conceived by an independent remuneration panel after they noted several elected members failed to turn up for even half of Assemblies.

But the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has killed off plans to introduce the voluntary claw back, saying there was no need to change the legislation surrounding councillor allowances.

A report by the panel states that DCLG chiefs believe the current regime is "sufficiently robust and transparent" and that councillor allowances are not purely based on the number of meetings they attend.


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Barking and Dagenham council has therefore decided to take no further action on the matter, the panel state in their review for 2010/11.

It was also decided that councillors' allowances would be frozen for the second year in a row in light of the countrywide recession.

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All elected members will receive �10,008 per year, with those who shoulder extra responsibilities taking home a special allowance on top of that.

Executive members are paid �17, 510 and council leader, Liam Smith, receives �22,513.

The only change made to the system was the introduction of an extra payment for the Chairman and independent members of the Standards Committee.

This is due to the huge increase in the number of formal complaints against councillors the committee has had to deal with over the last two years.

Since May 2008 there have been 20 individual complaints - one of which went to a full hearing.

The panel decided to award an extra �1,000 and �500 to the Chairman and the independent members due to the investigation, reading and preparation required to sit on the Standards Committee.

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