City councillors voted in favour of boosting their basic allowances by almost 11pc tonight - with the leader to receive a near-54pc increase from April.

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Norwich City Council was recommended to increase a range of allowances, including the cash provided to the leader of the major minority party, by an independent panel.

Ruling Labour members and the opposition Green Party both supported the change, insisting it will help encourage more people from different backgrounds to become councillors.

But the three Liberal Democrats voted against the policy, noting it would be unjust to increase their own allowances while staff are subject to a pay freeze.

All 39 councillors will now receive £6,000 a year as a basic allowance - up by 10.7pc from £5,420.

The council leader, currently Labour’s Brenda Arthur, will see their special responsibility allowance increase from £6,504 to £10,000.

The overall allowances budget for 2013/14 will increase from £310,000 to £326,000.

Alan Waters, cabinet member for finance, said: “It comes out at the same time as recommendations by the communities select committee recognises the need for councillors to have adequate allowances to carry out their roles.

“Some ministers - the MP for Great Yarmouth [Brandon Lewis] being one and Grant Shapps, a man of multiple identities, being another - have suggested councillors are volunteers and comparisons have been made with scouts, guides and charities.

“All of these are very worthy occupations. But when you think about our responsibilities as councillors, as the political head of a multi-million pound organisation, these are serious responsibilities.

“We make more decisions, frankly, that affect more lives than the MPs.

“MPs make decisions in a very collective way. We do make decisions of great importance for the city involving often millions of pounds and we are responsible for the outcome.”

Green Party leader Claire Stephenson said: “They do say democracy comes at a price but I think the basic allowance of £6,000 for a ward councillor is terrific value for money for someone available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for 5,000 people to do pretty much whatever they want.”

As reported, in 2009 an independent panel recommended an increase, but that was put on hold as the council was on the brink of becoming a unitary council.

While the council’s hopes of making that switch were scuppered, the proposal for allowances increases was discussed again in 2010, but councillors decided not to take the increase.

The latest report, which has compared the allowances paid at City Hall to other similar councils, considered that “the level of responsibility and volume of work of the role of leader of the council warranted a significant increase in allowance”.

They found that, compared to the £6,504 the leader at City Hall gets, the leader of Cambridge City Council gets £10,433, the leader at Ipswich Borough Council £11,235 and the leader of the City of Lincoln Council gets £9,519.

James Wright, Lib Dem group leader, said allowances could now cost the authority as much as £350,000 a year.

He said: “I find it difficult to comprehend putting through a policy of raising our own allowances when we are not doing anything to the pay of our staff.”

35 comments

  • you lot and you know who you are,like a LabGreen Council you voted in your thousands In May. Stop moaning tax and spend it is the only way.Next one Council Tax increase against Govt directive of a freeze.Discuss.

    Report this comment

    PaulH

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • One of the conclusions of the hearing on standards is that twin-hatters represent very bad democratic value.If running a local authority was as onerous a task they would have you believe how do they manage to run 2?As far as City council allowances are concerned they are not yet at an appropriate level of remuneration for the nature of the casework which poverty and inequality have caused.They are likely to be kept very busy with these problems the government are causing people and should get a bit more.The Norfolk County Council Tories have a far reduced workload or complex caseload but get paid more than twice as much.In fact I believe my Tory county councillor has gone missing for nearly 4 years.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Saturday, February 2, 2013

  • You see, typical bad PR leading to a hammering in the press, which is why they are only worth £6K. This lot are always up to something trying to improve the lives of the City folk and then getting flayed alive for it by the media. They need to learn from the example of a near neighbour, whose councillors are able to pay themselves huge allowances in comparison for doing absolutely nothing of tangible benefit. You see if you do nothing, nobody notices, and there's nothing to complain about. You get re-elected, often unopposed, because there are no irate voters jumping up an down about something they read in the local rag last week or the week before. Compare those silly Norwich Council people, scared to reward themselves adequately for fear of starting a riot, to the arrogance of Willem None's lot on Breckland Council, each getting a basic allowance of a tiny £5,200 on top of which add the following humungous "special responsibility" allowances: leader £20,800; deputy £13,650; cabinet members x 6 at £11,050; a multitude of committee chairmen between £2,600 and £10,814 depending on severity of risk to voter disquiet; executive support members x 6 at £1,850; along with numerous vice chairmen and other extra handouts. In fact over half of the council members are on extras, which is how it should be when you have a single party so dominant. They have to be carefully managed-cum-bought-off or they could become fractious like NCC.

    Report this comment

    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • After they decimated the jobs of the direct labour force, to them it must come as two fingers up you, I'm all right jack.

    Report this comment

    Rorping

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • This bunch of Cartoon Characters are available 247 do not make me laugh. They are getting something for nothing Lazy bunch. You volunteered for this position why should you be paid anything.

    Report this comment

    turnover

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • Time to boot out the self serving pigs at the hard pressed taxpayers trough.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • Gosh, the EDP supremos must be cock-a-hoop with your comments, people. You know they enjoy nothing more than bashing those awful lefties at City Hall, especially because Norwich folk keep voting for them despite the EDP's relentless crusading to the contrary. As an occasional educationalist, I submitted a little informative piece to help you bumpkins to grasp what it's really like to be bled dry by shamelessly greedy councillors. Naturally this was censored to bu66ery!

    Report this comment

    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • This NEWS seems to be quickly being moved from prominence, cant have anything printed that may cause upset at City Hall,

    Report this comment

    Melvyn Parkerson

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • In this time of civil service pay freeze welfare cuts etc how are these people alowed to give themselves such a pay rise , shame on you. " "We are in this all together". I dont think so.

    Report this comment

    Melvyn Parkerson

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • I thought they were meant to be cutting costs! Absolutely disgusting! Why should they benefit when the rest of the working class have to have pay freeze's and salary cut!!! I'm utterly raging.....

    Report this comment

    wombat

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • Total rubbish from the self serving green thingy...available 24 hours, stop kidding yourself madame...get a real job!!!!!!

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • "......ward councillor is terrific value for money for someone available 24 hours a day, seven days a week........" Dream on Stephenson.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • We're all in this together....

    Report this comment

    fester1902

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • Cuts to services across the entire authority and yet the Councillors deem themselves more important than the staff to receive a pay rise?!? Should let the staff decide if they would like a pay rise too! Melvyn (above) says it....SHAME ON YOU ! How about asking the ward the Councillor serves if they have heard of them even! Then asking if they think their Councillor deserves a pay rise?

    Report this comment

    You know who you are!

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • How many people know who their councillor is? or even what political party they represent? I suspect if they all disappeared nobody would notice,but there might be a small reduction on council tax!

    Report this comment

    Harry Rabinowitz

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • I think that £10,000 per annum for a full-time job with the level of responsibility that comes with leading the City of Norwich is very reasonable. What does need to be looked at is the overall number of Councillors the city has, 39 councillors, 3 per ward plus another one to look after the County Council issues is way too many. Unfortunately there are many back bench councillors from all parties that are doing very little work in their wards apart from election times when they all want our votes. Reduce the number of Councillors the City has and pay them a proper 'wage' to ensure a high calibre of candidates.

    Report this comment

    earth monkey

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • The funds to pay for this are going to come from cuts to other services, its a disgrace. When are these councillers going to start listening to those who voted them in.

    Report this comment

    Crazy

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • If you don't like it vote! Or better still join up and help change things from the inside.

    Report this comment

    Moley

    Friday, February 1, 2013

  • disgusting as its other peoples money. maybe we can take some food in their house.

    Report this comment

    pokos

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • Greedy greedy greedy. I do not know one Councillor in Norfolk in District and County that I would employ to even mow my lawn. Why then are we giving these ghastly specimens a 10% and 54% (!) rise in their trough feed? Let's get rid of at least three quarters of them and ensure that the rest are qualified. And if you are telling me that that means that stupid people are excluded from standing then, hey ho, good. I dont want an idiot doing anything for me and I dont see why I should have to put up with stupidity just because the political parties ensure that very stupid people are elected so they will behave and do as they are told no matter how bad the choice is for Norfolk. Bring on the independents. Vote for members of parties at your peril next May.

    Report this comment

    Electra

    Thursday, January 31, 2013

  • A predictable comment I suspect but this is nothing short of obscene.

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    peter waller

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • May I just add the following observations? 1. It is generally recognised that councillors should donate a proportion of their time – possibly one third – for free. 2. If this exercise is being carried out to attract “new blood” then those members of the public seeking election must be made aware that they will have to have support from one of the major political parties to break in. 3. If this is the purpose, why don’t existing councillors agree to waive payment of the increase in their own cases? 4. Consider lay magistrates who try almost 99% of all crimes. They are unpaid but have to face difficult decisions such as depriving people of their freedom. 5. The work of a local authority is done by its salaried officers; councillors generally do not have the requisite professional skills and experience. 6. The job of councillors is to choose whether to accept or reject the officers’ recommendations. 7. If this is a “247” job, how is it that many councillors in Norfolk sit on the county council, a district council and a town or parish council at the same time?

    Report this comment

    Nemesis

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • How many people know who their councillor is? or even what political party they represent? I suspect if they all disappeared nobody would notice,but there might be a small reduction on council tax!

    Report this comment

    Harry Rabinowitz

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • earth monkey, you seem to forget we already the CEO of Norwich City Council on around £135,000, plus her team of 6 which adds another £500k to boot. Brenda also a very big fat pension to comfort her in part time political agenda, not bad for someone who can barely run a bath,let alone look after the city.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • Stop all this whingeing at once, you people don't know how lucky you are. I've tried posting two comments on this thread and both have been censored. Obviously the EDP high command are fearful that you might learn something of the real world that exists outside their carefully controlled propaganda...

    Report this comment

    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • "Let's not shirk our civic duties, the first thing we've got to do,is raise our allowances!" If they're on duty 247 perhaps from now on we should phone them at 2:00am in the morning - on a Sunday - just to see if they're worth the increase.

    Report this comment

    richard black

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • What ever happened to the idea of 'public service'? My father was a London councillor in the sixties, and his only 'perk' was that before an evening meeting he was allowed a free egg on toast, or beans on toast. Egg and beans together was considered excessive! He was proud to be of service to the Borough. How times have changed.

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    julygirl

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • wow the pigs from animal farm are doing well.

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    pokos

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • Looking after themselves yet again. No wonder people don't vote. Disgusting !

    Report this comment

    Bunny160

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • What a shameful display of greed. Everyone is being told we are all in together, we all need to tighten our belts & then City Councillors award themselves a pay increase of up to 54%. With so many desperately needed services being cut by these very same people, this says more about them than ever a profanity could.

    Report this comment

    el84

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • I do not agree with this massive hike, what was wrong with 2%, a moderate rise? yes councillors make then decisions on the multi million pound contracts, and we know who they prefer, but its the staff and officers who are carrying out the evaluations, tenders and monitoring the contract, not cllr.s. This decision was greedy obsessive and wrong!

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • I note not too many comments from councillors defending their actions - where are you?

    Report this comment

    Tudor Bushe

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • must do my public duty ...AT A PRICE !!!!!

    Report this comment

    billyboggins

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • Typical nuLabour hypocrisy - moan all day long about anybody taking a payrise or bonus & voting themselves straight into the trough.

    Report this comment

    Tudor Bushe

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • The words , ` pigs ` and `troughs ` , spring to mind .

    Report this comment

    dragonfly

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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