Councillors pay

County councillors wield the axe...over themselves.

by Paul on Politics, by political editor Paul Francis Monday, January 24 2011

Councillors can get a bit touchy about their allowances and at £1.8m last year, you can understand why KCC 84 members might find the subject of how much it costs the taxpayer a little sensitive.

So, let's give them one cheer for understanding that as they preside over a budget making £95m of savings, they ought to look to themselves to see if they can save the taxpayer a bit of cash. (I'll gloss over the number of times that I've been told by various councillors that much as they'd like to do something, the council is tightly bound by the recommendations of the independent remuneration panel that makes them. They are not and never have been).

Councillors allowances to be cut>>>

Some £200,000 is to be chopped from the budget for members' allowances and various options are being weighed up - including an across-the-board cut for all members.

There will, in any case, be some savings because of the re-organisation underway at County Hall that will see the number of directorates slimmed down and the word is that will mean a smaller cabinet, which at some point will mean a potentially interesting re-shuffle. Currently, each cabinet member gets a special responsibility allowance of £23k on top of a basic allowance of £13k.

But if I was looking at where the axe might fall, it'd be on the number of councillors who have jobs as deputy cabinet members. There are 13 councillors in such posts and they each get £11,837 on top of their basic allowance. If I was in one of these roles - and there are a lot of them - I'd be feeling a little anxious just now.   

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No surprise that the Conservatives won the by-election for the KCC division of Tonbridge following the death of Godfrey Horne. The result provides KCC with its first mother-daughter team - the winning candidate was Alice Hohler, the daughter of Sarah Hohler, cabinet member for education.

Alice romped home with a healthy majority of 2,013 but it was a grim night for the Lib Dems. Its candidate polled 561 votes against the 3079 the party's two candidates who contested the division in the 2009 election secured and to add to the party's discomfort, got beaten into second place by Labour, who in 2009 were did so poorly, they got beaten by UKIP.

All of which suggests that disaffected Lib Dem supporters are gravitating to Labour while the Conservative vote is holding up reasonably well in its safe territory. So, along with deputy cabinet members, these are anxious times for Liberal Democrats ahead of May's locall elections.

 

 

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Categories: Conservatives | Councillors pay | Local Politics

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