Councillor allowances rise approved by Rother cabinet

Cllr Charles Clark said he could not see how anyone could disagree with the increase
Cllr Charles Clark said he could not see how anyone could disagree with the increase

Rother councillors supported the proposal to increase their allowances by one per cent after five years of no rise.

Rother District Council cabinet members unanimously agreed to increasing the basic allowance from £4,237 to £4,280 per year at a meeting on Monday (January 18).

The suggested rate was put forward by an independent remunerations panel but the final decision will be made by the full council.

Cllr Charles Clark said it is rarely noted that councillor’s allowance are subject to taxation and supported the rise.

“We support the fact that we’re not doing it as a vocation and we’re not doing it for money but we also want people to be able to afford to stand for council so it needs to be seen to offset any loss of income for any new councillor that comes onto the council,” he said.

“The increase is really very small and I can’t see how anybody could say it was unjustified.”

The increase is linked to staff pay awards but Cllr Kathryn Field disagreed with this as it could make it seem like councillors were trying to improve their allowances when discussing officer’s pay.

Special allowances would also increase, for example, childcare allowance is set to increase from £6.50 to £7 an hour.

But Cllr Brian Kenward said you could not get very good child care for that amount so asked officers to look into what the national average is to see if it could be raised.

The recommendations mean an overall increase in the budget of £2,086 for 2016/17.

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