THE results of the independent review into Councillors’ allowances have been published this week, and will be debated by Councillors at the full Council meeting on 20th July.
The headline recommendations are that Thurrock Councillors are paid significantly below the national average, and to bring allowances up to the recommended amounts would cost the Council £53,000 per year (just over £1000 per Councillor on average).
Responding to the report, Conservative leader Cllr Phil Anderson said “I welcome this independent confirmation that the Thurrock council tax payer is getting good value from their local elected representatives. We kept Councillors’ pay in check while in office, and took a lead in arranging a 5% cut last year when the reductions in local government funding were announced.
As Conservatives we would not want to see any increase in Councillors’ allowances when budgets are tight and most public sector salaries are frozen. Political leaders should be expected to lead from the front, and right now that means taking a lead in showing financial restraint. We’re happy to look at implementing some of the detailed changes suggested by the panel, so long as there is no increase in costs overall.
In the long term we do need to make sure allowances keep pace, so that no-one is excluded from being a Councillor because they can’t afford the time commitment. But right now the message is simple – no increase in allowances if it means cutbacks elsewhere.”