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Revealed: What did your Norfolk county councillor do with their allowance increase?

Cliff Jordan, Conservative leader of Norfolk County Council. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.

Cliff Jordan, Conservative leader of Norfolk County Council. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.

Norfolk Conservatives

Conservative Norfolk county councillors were advised not to reveal if they decided not to claim a controversial allowances increase or if they had donated their extra money to charity.

The chamber at Norfolk County Council. Pic: Dan Grimmer The chamber at Norfolk County Council. Pic: Dan Grimmer

This newspaper emailed all 84 councillors to ask if they had accepted the increase and whether they intended to donate it to charity or to community projects.

A number of councillors, including council leader Cliff Jordan and others from across the political spectrum at County Hall, had previously indicated they would make donations to charity.

But only a handful of Conservative councillors responded to our request, after Mr Jordan sent his party colleagues an email advising them not to reply.

In the message, Mr Jordan wrote: “I would advise that you do not reply to this email as this will be a never ending process.

“We need to hold the line on expenses and be united. This is only the first skirmish we have had with the paper, Unison and the Labour group working together. There will be many more. United we stand divided we fall.”

When we contacted him, Mr Jordan said he would not answer any further questions on the issue, which he likened to a “witch hunt”.

Before Christmas the council voted by 39 votes to 26, with two abstentions, to increase the basic allowance from £9,401 to £10,500 a year.

The decision came despite an independent panel saying the basic allowance should stay at the current level, bar any percentage increase local authority staff were awarded.

That panel had acknowledged allowances for Norfolk councillors lagged behind comparable counties and a fundamental review was needed - but that should not happen until next year.

But Mr Jordan said there was never a good time to make the increase and it was important councillors were properly compensated for the work they do for the public.

In January, the council rejected a Labour/Liberal Democrat motion to reverse the decision by 36 votes to 28 - so the extra cash has started to be paid, backdated to last May.

The increase, which costs £140,000, has been funded through an underspend in the allowances budget.

What did your councillor tell us they did with their allowances?

Tony Adams (C – Drayton and Horsford) Did not respond

Tim Adams (LD – Cromer) Spent £65 helping a constituent with an urgent housing issue. Anticipates the rest will be spent on local projects and initiatives

Steffan Aquarone (LD – Melton Constable) Created a seed funding pot for community projects across my division. Also mulled wine to encourage local people to come to a meeting at Melton Constable Country Club to discuss its future, Land Registry searches to assist local Parish Council matters and a contribution towards assessing options for reducing the speed limit through the B1110 in Briningham

Stephen Askew (C – Guiltcross) Did not respond

Jess Barnard (L – Nelson) Donated £200 to Leeway, and have been in touch with the Red Balloon Centre and City of Sanctuary organisation with the hope of donating the same sum to each of these. This month’s increase donated to Shelter

David Bills (C – Humbleyard) Did not respond

Bill Borrett (C – Elmham and Mattishall) Did not respond

Claire Bowes (C – Watton) Did not respond

Roy Brame (C – Thetford East) Did not respond

Julie Brociek-Coulton

(L – Sewell) Did not accept increase

Sarah Butikoffer (LD – Holt) Intends to give to community projects

Penny Carpenter (C – Caister-on-Sea) Did not respond

Mick Castle (I – Yarmouth North and Central) Accepted increase and said: “I always aim to earn my allowances.”

Michael Chenery of Horsburgh (C – Docking) Did not respond

Stuart Clancy (C – Taverham) Voted against increase at full council and informed the council he would not accept it.

Kim Clipsham (L – Wensum) Passing allowance rise to the early years centre in West Earlham

David Collis (L – North and Central) Donating to armed forces charities

Ed Colman (C – Swaffham) Did not respond

Emma Corlett (L – Town Close) Donations to Mind the Gap, Norfolk Community Law Service, Friends of Wherry School and to the Diocese fund for internet connection for newly arrived refuge families, shopping for destitute resident and food and essentials for family in crisis

Stuart Dark (C – Dersingham) Did not respond

Margaret Dewsbury (C – Hingham) Did not respond

Nigel Dixon (C – Stalham) Did not respond

Danny Douglas (L – Mancroft) Donating to St Edmunds Society

Philip Duigan (C – Dereham South) Did not respond

Fabian Eagle (C – The Brecks) Did not respond

Tim East (LD – Costessey) Did not respond

Simon Eyre (C – Freebridge Lynn) Did not respond

John Fisher (C – Woodside) Did not respond

Tom FitzPatrick (C – Fakenham) Did not respond

Colin Foulger (C – Forehoe) Did not respond

Tom Garrod (C – Wroxham) Did not respond

Andy Grant (C – Lothingland) Did not accept increase

Shelagh Gurney (C – Hellesdon) Did not respond

Ron Hanton (C – East Flegg) Did not respond

David Harrison (LD – Aylsham) Intends to donate to charity

Harry Humphrey (C – Marshland South) Did not respond

Brian Iles (C – Acle) Did not respond

Andrew Jamieson (C – North Coast) Did not respond

Terry Jermy (L – Thetford West) Donated £685.01 in backdated pay to the Thetford Citizens Advice bureau. Similar donations to good causes will be made in the future

Brenda Jones (L – Lakenham) Donations to Lakenham Primary School, Community Action Norwich and Friends of Jubilee Park

Chris Jones (L – Thorpe Hamlet) Donations to Friends of Rosary Cemetery, Old Library Wood Collective, Friends of Kett’s Heights and Norfolk Mustard crowdfunding appeal

Cliff Jordan (C – Yare and All Saints) Did not respond

Alexandra Kemp (I – Clenchwarton and King’s Lynn South) Will use it to fund projects in her division

Keith Kiddie (C – Diss and Roydon) Did not respond

Mark Kiddle-Morris (C – Necton and Launditch) Did not respond

Brian Long (C – Fincham) Have paid the tax on the earnings and will spend it privately.

Ian Mackie (C – Thorpe St Andrew) Did not respond

Edward Maxfield (LD – Mundesley) Intends to donate to charities

Graham Middleton (C – Gayton and Nar Valley) Did not respond

Joe Mooney (C – Wymondham) Did not respond

Steve Morphew (L – Catton Grove) Donations to Connects & Co, Catton Grove Community Centre and Friends of Waterloo Park.

George Nobbs (L – Crome) Donations to East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, Sightsavers and for the appeal to restore the original Samson from outside the Samson and Hercules in Norwich

Judy Oliver (C – Sheringham) Did not respond

Rhodri Oliver (C – Attleborough) Did not respond

Greg Peck (C – Reepham) Did not respond

Graham Plant (C – Gorleston St Andrews) Renounced rise and backdated payment

Richard Price (C – Smallburgh) Did not respond

Andrew Proctor (C – Blofield and Brundall) “I made my position clear when this was considered by voting against the increase. As a result I have notified the council that I am not taking the increased allowance.”

William Richmond (C – Dereham North) Did not respond

Dan Roper (LD – Hevingham and Spixworth) Donated to three community organisations

David Rowntree (L – University) Giving it to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Charity Fund

Chrissie Rumsby (L – Mile Cross) Donated to St Martins Housing, Mile Cross Primary School and a Mile Cross community project

Mike Sands (L – Bowthorpe) Donations to Mow and Grow in Bowthorpe and Stand Easy, an armed forces charity

Eric Seward (LD – North Walsham East) Donations to four charities/ community groups in his division

Carl Smith (C – Breydon) Did not accept increase or backdated payment

Mike Smith-Clare (L – Yarmouth Nelson and Southtown) Donated to Great Yarmouth Unemployed Workers Centre

Thomas Smith (C – Gaywood South) Did not respond

Bev Spratt (C – West Depwade) Did not respond

Sandra Squire (I – Marshland North) Did not respond

Barry Stone (C – Loddon) Did not respond

Margaret Stone (C – Clavering) Did not respond

Martin Storey (C – Feltwell) Did not respond

Marie Strong (LD – Wells) Putting towards activities in her division

Haydn Thirtle (C – West Flegg) Did not respond

Alison Thomas (C – Long Stratton) Did not respond

Victor Thomson (C – Henstead) Did not respond

John Timewell (LD – North Walsham and Erpingham) Intends to donate to charity

Karen Vincent (C – Old Catton) Did not respond

Colleen Walker (L – Magdalen) Donations to Heart to Heart, MESH Shrublands Youth and Adult Centre Charitable Trust, The Bridge food bank and Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Young Carers

John Ward (C – Sprowston) Did not respond

Brian Watkins (LD – Eaton) Intends to set up ‘community chest’ to use on projects in Eaton

Tony White (C – Downham Market) Did not respond

Martin Wilby (C – East Depwade) Did not respond

Sheila Young (C – Gaywood North and Central) Did not respond

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