Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

LOCAL VOTERS TO DECIDE MEMBERS' ALLOWANCES

  • Comment
The government is to give councils freedom to decide the level of members' allowances, local government minister Da...
The government is to give councils freedom to decide the level of members' allowances, local government minister David Curry announced on Wednesday.

The changes apply to England and Wales and are planned to come into force from 1 April. No additional funding will be forthcoming.

'The current system of allowances is too prescriptive and places an unnecessary burden on local authorities,' Mr Curry told the Commons.

'The changes we propose will remove that burden and will encourage people with a wide range of skills to serve as councillors.'

The decision to liberalise the allowances system followed a recommendation from a joint local authority associations/DoE working party. The announcement should have been made in December but a backbencher failed to put down the correct question for DoE ministers.

Ministers have accepted arguments by the associations that the level of basic allowance should not be laid down by government.

Association of Metropolitan Authorities secretary Rodney Brooke welcomed the proposals as an important piece of deregulation for local government.

'For years there has been discontent that members have been giving up a great deal of free time and getting minimal reimbursement of their costs while others, such as those on quangos, have been paid more money than members could dream of for much less work,' he said.

He regretted there was no movement on the impact of allowances on benefit payments, and hoped the DoE would still be willing to explore reimbursing employers for time members spent away from their jobs on council business.

'Members do not wish to jeopardise their jobs or pensions,' he said.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.