News

Expenses review for councillors

THE leader of Hyndburn Council has called for councillors' expenses to reflect their individual workloads.

Enter your postcode to see news and information near you

Community updates, Crime Statistics, Local News & Events and much more...

THE leader of Hyndburn Council has called for councillors' expenses to reflect their individual workloads.

Councillor Peter Britcliffe is keen to adopt a performance-related pay scheme, instead of paying all councillors the same £3,100 basic allowance per year.

He told a meeting of Hyndburn's Cabinet last Wednesday: "We are calling for a fundamental review of councillors' allowances. We feel the system needs to be looked at, as you could have a situation where someone attends three or four council meetings a year and gets the same allowance as someone doing much more work.

"I am not suggesting people do that but you have got councillors who are on various panels getting the same amount as others who are not."

But Councillor Jean Battle, leader of the opposition Labour group, said it would be wrong to judge councillors on how many meetings they attended.

She said: "It is not purely about attending council meetings. A councillor has to work in the community and attend different community groups and forums.

"My view is that some members who do not go to council meetings do a lot of work elsewhere. Councillors expenses' are looked at all the time - it happens every year.

"When I became a county councillor we had to keep diaries of where we went and what we did.

"But it would be impossible nowadays with the increased workload. Councillors are always getting phone calls and going to meet people."

But Councillor Britcliffe went on: "The system at the moment is loaded against the councillors who work the hardest."

"We are going to ask the independent panel to look into it. It will make a recommendation and we will go with that."

"We don't want the allowance to be increased - if anything we think it is too high. It needs to be a fairer system."