MONEY spent on two controversial council posts could be reduced as part of a proposed £54,000 cut to councillors’ allowances.
The changes have been recommended to Central Bedfordshire Council by the Independent Remuneration Panel for the Members’ Allowances Scheme.
As executive members without portfolios former council leader Tricia Turner and Councillor Richard Stay have been paid £10,721.20 special responsibility allowances (SRAs) each to act as advisors since May, in addition to their basic allowances. Councillor Turner focuses on economic partnership while Councillor Richard Stay works on external affairs.
At the time James Jamieson, leader of the council, said: “Saving money is of course our priority and our new structure will actually cost slightly less than the previous one.”
But the independent panel has said that the additional allowances given to Councillors Turner and Stay are too high.
It suggests that Councillor Stay’s SRA be slashed to £6,267 to better reflect his workload though councillor Turner’s allowance need only be cut by £66, due to the higher level of responsibility involved. This would be backdated to May 2011 and reviewed by the end of August 2012.
The changes to SRAs would reduce the 2011/2012 cost from £335,650 to £309,265 and the 2012/13 expenditure to £281,410, a saving of £54,240.
Central Beds Council cannot comment fully until councillors discuss the recommendations but councillor Maurice Jones, executive member for corporate resources, said: “The recommendations of that panel will go to full council. Members of the Council will be considering all the recommendations put forward before deciding whether or not to adopt the proposed scheme for members.”
Central Beds Council will discuss this on Thursday evening (November 24).
To read the full story see the Biggleswade Chronicle of Friday, November 18.
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