Call for councillors to take allowances cut

Former Ukip councillor joins city Conservatives

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A COUNCILLOR has called on Fareham Borough Council to reduce the allowances paid to its members.

It comes following the publication by pressure group the Taxpayers’ Alliance of all the basic allowances paid by local authorities nationwide.

They show that Fareham councillors are receiving £6,465.50 per year – compared with £5,652 and £5,350 for Gosport and Havant councils respectively.

Tory council leader Sean Woodward argued that the higher allowance was justified because there are fewer councillors in Fareham and it is a bigger district.

But Lib Dem opposition group leader Cllr Jim Forrest said he would rather see the same amount of money spent paying more councillors less.

He said: ‘We used to have three members per ward and we reduced that down to two, but with three people our constituents would receive a better service from councillors.’

But Cllr Woodward said the council was giving residents good value for money.

‘The crucial thing is that we have the lowest council tax in the whole country as well as some of the best satisfaction scores.’

He also defended receiving a higher special allowance than the one paid to the leader of Portsmouth City Council, as well as an allowance for being a Hampshire County councillor.

‘My special allowance also includes around £5,000 for being the chairman of the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire,’ he said.

‘The fact that I have been a councillor for 26 years and keep getting re-elected shows that people must think I’m doing a reasonably good job.’

WHO GETS WHAT

Hampshire County Council:

Basic – £12,003 per year.

Highest – £40,970.04 per year (Council leader Ken Thornber)

Portsmouth City Council:

Basic – £10,200 per year.

Highest – £28,560 per year (Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson)

Fareham Borough Council:

Basic – £6,465.50 per year.

Highest – £25,861.50 per year (Council leader Sean Woodward)

Gosport Borough Council:

Basic – £5,652 per year

Highest – £18,782 per year (Council leader Mark Hook)

Havant Borough Council:

Basic – £5,350 per year

Highest – £20,150 (Council leader Tony Briggs)