Norwich City Council councillor Julie Brociek-Coulton. Photo: Steve Adams

Norwich City Council staff get clothing allowances

Monday, February 4, 2013
2.05 PM

Clothing allowances have been given to Norwich City Council staff to make them easily recognisable – and to “express their personality”.

The authority has paid £3,150 to 21 reception and customer contact centre staff.

It added the employees could “express their personality via choices on colour options and types of clothing”, which includes buying black, navy blue or white tops and black or navy dresses, skirts, jumpers, jackets, cardigans or trousers. A further £105 will pay for each employee to receive a scarf or a tie.

The council’s aim is for staff who deal with people visiting City Hall throughout the day to abide by a dress code, rather than wear a set uniform.

Town Close councillor Paul Neale, who uncovered the spending, said: “I’ve been asked by my residents ‘Is this right?’ I know it’s not a big sum, but everyone is supposed to be looking at savings in different places.”

Talks are ongoing to decide whether staff from LGSS, a partnership between Norwich, Cambridgeshire County Council and Northamptonshire County Council, who perform similar counter services at City Hall, will receive the same allowance.

Julie Brociek-Coulton, pictured, cabinet member for customer services, confirmed the one-off £150 payments had been given to 21 staff members.

She replied: “The uniform elements consist of a scarf or a tie and these cost £5 each. A number of other council staff are provided with set uniforms, but in this case staff are adhering to a dress code.

“This makes the front of house team more easily recognisable to our customers.” Should clothing allowances be given to Norwich City Council staff? Tell us what you think by writing to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1 RE or, alternatively, email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk