Suffolk: No increase in councillor allowances

NEW figures show that local councils in Suffolk and north Essex have not increased the allowances they pay to councillors over the last year.

And councillors in most authorities in this area received near or less than the national average for the official duties.

The Taxpayers’ Alliance has compiled a list of basic allowances paid to councillors in authorities across the country.

County councils pay higher allowances than boroughs and districts.

Suffolk County Council’s basic allowance of �10,172 is only slightly above the national average of �9,919. However Essex County Council does pay more at �11,500.

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Jane Storey, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for finance, said: “Councillors collectively take decisions which affect the lives of everybody who lives, works or visits Suffolk and have an over-arching responsibility for the work of the county council – its strategies, policies and how it performs.

“Being an effective councillor requires a huge commitment and a lot of hard work. The average member of the cabinet will work anything up to 60 hours a week on council-related duties.

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“The level of allowances was set by an independent panel in 2006, to bring them in line with neighbouring county councils, and in recognition of the work that they put in. There has been no increase in allowances since 2009, and, in recognition of the difficult financial climate, we voted in February to freeze allowances for another year.”

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