DCSIMG

Isle councillors’ top claims for allowances

North Lincolnshire Councillor John Briggs pictured with copies of the Yellow Pages which are to be recycled.
Picture by David Haber

North Lincolnshire Councillor John Briggs pictured with copies of the Yellow Pages which are to be recycled. Picture by David Haber

Isle of Axholme councillors were among the highest paid councillors on North Lincolnshire Council last year, figures reveal.

Council leader, Epworth representative Liz Redfern, and her deputy John Briggs were highest earners in expenses published by the authority due to special responsibility allowances they both received.

Coun Redfern’s claim was £26,643 while Coun Briggs claimed £20,317.

Opposition Labour members within the authority spoke of disappointment that a new travel allowance purely for the leader and her cabinet has been brought in, during a time of austerity measures.

But the controlling Conservatives claim there has been a shift in presentation, not in pay-outs, and that the leaders don’t claim for many duties they perform within their own wards.

General expenses paid out are £37,000 down on last year’s figures, with more than £556,447 in allowances claimed in total by North Lincolnshire councillors in the last financial year, the latest figures reveal.

This tally covers 43 elected councillors and six co-opted committee members.

All councillors adhere to a maximum 4,000 miles cap on travel expenses claimed, at a rate of 45p per mile.

Coun Redfern’s leadership special responsibility allowance is £17,157.70 with a leadership travel allowance of £2,121 and other travel costs of £490.48.

The council leader said “We have done a great deal to cut the amount of money we allow councillors to claim. In 2011 when we took control of the council, we scrapped the free food budget, capped mileage claims and reduced special responsibility allowances.

“Personally I have cut my allowance by 25 per cent. It is a great honour to be leader of the council and, for me, it’s not about the money. This year we froze allowances.

“Despite council politics we are determined to continue keeping our promise to save local tax-payers hundreds of thousands of pounds spent on allowances for councillors,” added Coun Redfern.

A claim of £15,453 was made by the highest-claiming opposition councillor.

 

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