RISES in allowances paid to councillors in Chichester have been approved – despite strong objections.
Councillors at Chichester District Council voted to accept recommendations – put forward by an independent panel – which will see a rise of 10.2 per cent in the basic allowance for all councillors, from £3,900 to £4,300.
A special responsibility allowance for cabinet members, paid on top of the basic allowance, will jump by 41.5 per cent, from £4,452 to £6,300. However, the increase has no effect on the budget as the size of the cabinet has been reduced from ten to seven.
Panel chairman John Pressdee told the council: ‘Our recommendations are non-political, and represent a fair deal for both members and council tax payers.’
The council rejected an amendment proposed by Cllr Tony Dignum, which would have cut the rise in the basic allowance to just two per cent, putting it up to £3,978.
It would also have spread an increase for cabinet members over four years, taking the figure to £6,000 in 2015.
The amendment have seen basic allowances rise in step with officers’ pay awards from 2013.
But the panel’s proposal was that this allowance should increase in line with the retail price increase from 2013.
Cllr Dignum said: ‘The council needs to base its policy on the principle of fairness and the need to be seen to be fair by the public, the press and our officers, in the present difficult economic situation.’