Allowances set to rise for South Ribble councillors

Panel members: Anne Selby and Ian Wood
Panel members: Anne Selby and Ian Wood
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An extra £172,663 could soon be spent every year on councillors in South Ribble, if new recommendations are approved next week.

An independent task-force was brought in by the borough council in the summer to look at the renumeration packages offered to members.

Ian Wood of BAE systems

Ian Wood of BAE systems

The current allowances for elected members was drawn up in 2002 and has only been updated for inflation on two occasions.

In 2012 the allowance for travel and subsistence was increased from £100 to £350. Under new proposals this will remain, but an extra payment up to a maximum of £62.10 per week would be provided when expenditure, such as childminding costs, are incurred for attendance at council and committee meetings. This payment would only be paid on production of receipts.

The report states: “The guiding principles in devising a Scheme should be to develop a scheme of allowances that is not in its own right an incentive to participate in public life but one which removed barriers for those who would otherwise refrain from participating in public life.”

Proposed rises include raising the basic annual allowance from £1,548.33 to £4,426, and raising the council leader’s special allowance from £10,322.20 to £13,851.

A spokesman for South Ribble Council said: “These recommendations have been made by an independent panel which was convened at the start of the summer, following the reduction from 55 councillors to 50.

“The panel made national and local comparisons of councillors’ allowances and expenses, and took into consideration factors like population, type of area and the workload of councillors. It will be up to individual members to decide whether to support the implementation of the panel’s recommendations at Full Council on September 30.”