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Leader calls for allowances to be reduced or frozen

Wolverhampton City Council leader Councillor Roger Lawrence is calling for councillors' allowances to be reduced or frozen to help save over £100,000.

An independent remuneration panel chaired by Wolverhampton resident David Seager is proposing an increase in Wolverhampton councillors' basic allowances to be offset by reducing the amount of special responsibility allowances paid to senior members. (The panel's report is published today at Independent Remuneration Panel.

Councillor Lawrence said, "We are grateful to the panel for their hard work. However, while the Labour Group is supporting the reduction in special responsibility allowances paid to senior members, given the serious circumstances facing the council we believe that we must reject the panel's recommendation to increase councillors' basic allowances. We believe these should be frozen at their current level of £8,980 despite the fact that the average allowance paid by other Black Country councils is £10,099.

"The panel's recommendations would have saved the council up to £50,000 per year. By contrast the freeze in basic allowances will increase the saving by up to £125,000 per annum."

The review has suggested minor increases for the Chair of Licensing and the Mayor and Deputy Mayor.

The panel also recommends that Councillor Lawrence receives a reduction of around £400 less than other senior members. He added: "If I remain leader next year, I will take a voluntary reduction of around £1,500 per year to make the same contribution to savings as other Cabinet Members."

  • released: Tuesday 12 November, 2013