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RHONDDA'S FIXED ALLOWANCES 'SHOULD CUT RED TAPE'

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Allowances for Rhondda Cynon Taff CBC members have been fixed at£7,000 a year, according to The Western Mail (p5)....
Allowances for Rhondda Cynon Taff CBC members have been fixed at£7,000 a year, according to The Western Mail (p5).

This figure is about the same as the average amount claimed in basic and attendance allowances in the previous financial year.

The new system will mean overall savings of£40,000 this year. Council bureaucracy will be reduced because staff will not have to process hundreds of attendance claims.

Pauline Jarman, the council leader, said the new allowances reflected attempts to modernise the work of councillors. 'It cuts down on red tape and compliments the new cabinet system of decision making,' she said.

The new allowance will be paid to all 75 members, with a top up of between£1,000 and£10,000 for 27 of them, which will cost a total of£406,000 over the next eight months.

Payments already made for the fist four months of the year will add up to another£140,000. An indepdendent panel set up by RCT also recommended payments totalling£545,000. It suggested that councillors should receive£5,000 each.

But officers introduced a revised scheme to give councillors a financial 'soft landing'.

Chief executive Kim Ryley warned that next year's allowances may be cut back. He said reductions may be necessary because of RCT's serious financial problems.

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