Councillors face new rules on allowances – how much is your councillor worth to you?

An independent panel has put forward a plan which could see some councillors on Richmondshire District Council receiving less from the public purse.

Currently each councillor is entitled to a flat rate allowance of £3,000 then that is topped up with allowances for taking on specific responsibilities as well as expenses for costs incurred such as meals and mileage.

But an Independent Remuneration Panel made up of people appointed to look at the way the authority rewards its councillors has suggested changes which would increase the basic allowance but restrict other expenses.

The most controversial of the changes is to remove the allowance of £14.99 per month for broadband access. A suggestion which has angered some councillors because they are required to access all official documents using their council issued ipads.

You can see their full discussion on the suggestion – described by one of the councillors as ‘tawdry’ – in this video from the meeting.

The councillors failed to agree on the panel’s recommendations at the last full council meeting of 2016 and so the issue will be considered again in February.

In the meantime, we took a look at the amount each is currently claiming.

The highest level of allowance and expenses goes to the Conservative leader of the council Yvonne Peacock who received £10,148.53 in the last year that figures have been published for.

The councillor who received the smallest amount of money in the financial year 2015-16 was Catterick’s Simon Young. He received just £299.47 but was only elected to the seat in February 2016.

The Richmond ward councillors were rewarded in that financial year (2015-16) as follows:
Linda Curren 3,903.87
Louise Dickens 1,766.75 (elected in Sept 2015)
Stuart Parsons 3,225.90
John Robinson 4,954.44
Clive World 3,260.53

The full list of councillors and the expenses received can be seen here .(Those councillors without details of ward or party are no longer serving on the Council.)

* Please note, the figures relate to Richmondshire District Council only. Some councillors also sit on North Yorkshire County Council, or other bodies, and so could also receive allowances and expenses from those authorities separately.

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