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Suffolk: County councillors vote for an increase in allowances

PUBLISHED: 07:31 22 March 2014

Mark Bee, leader of Suffolk County Council.

Mark Bee, leader of Suffolk County Council.

Archant

Members of Suffolk County Council have voted themselves a 1% increase in allowances for the next four years.

And they have also approved making an allowance available to the chair of county’s new Health and Wellbeing board.

The move, which was recommended by an independent panel and had the backing of the ruling Conservative group, was approved by 40 votes to 6 with 14 abstentions.

The main opposition Labour Party abstained in the vote – the group’s deputy leader Bryony Rudkin had said that the group felt it was wrong for councillors to have to vote on their own allowances, they should be set by the government.

Council leader Mark Bee had said he would support the move because it was modest, and it would represent the only increase for the next four years.

He said he would only be supporting the rise because council workers were also being offered a 1% rise this year – it would have been wrong for councillors to support any increase in allowances if staff were still facing a pay freeze.

The increase, to come in from April 1, will see the basic allowance for councillors increase by £102 a year, from £10,172 to £10,174 a year.

The total allowance for council leader Mark Bee will go up by £356 from £35,602 to £35,958.

The headteacher of Kesgrave High School says he is addressing abusive and threatening behaviour among pupils involved in a ‘pre-planned fight’ outside the school yesterday.

An Essex fraudster who fled to Spain has finally admitted conning his victims out of £21,000 – four years after committing the crimes.

Two Suffolk town councillors are to undertake a 46 mile sponsored walk along the county’s coastline raising funds to help for disadvantaged children.

A Colchester mother whose baby almost died after contracting Group B Streptococcal (GBS) at birth has welcomed new guidelines for health professionals that aim to protect newborns from the infection.

A Colchester-based leprosy charity said it was “delighted” at the response after hosting its first local business networking breakfast.

Essex is set to have its first medical school after Anglia Ruskin University was given the go ahead to open one.

Health bosses in Suffolk have said it is vital for youngsters to be able to reach out for support after new research has revealed that nearly a quarter of girls show significant symptoms of depression by the age of 14 – with pressures at home, school and social media among contributing factors.

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