A council leader has defended plans to increase councillors’ allowances at a time when public sector workers are under a pay freeze.

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South Norfolk Councillors are set to discuss proposals next week that could result in a 3pc rise in the basic allowance for the authority’s 46 members.

An independent panel recommends that the district council should increase members’ basic allowance from £4,333 to £4,463 following a three year freeze. A report also recommends that special responsibility allowances for cabinet members and committee chairmen should be increased by 5pc.

Councillors will discuss the allowance increases at a meeting on Monday. However, South Norfolk Council leader John Fuller said the authority would end up spending less on allowances under a restructure and shake up of committees within the council.

A report by an independent panel says that councillors’ workload has increased by around 10pc since the last time members filled out time sheets in 2009.

Mr Fuller said he was minded to follow the spirit of report and that South Norfolk Councillors represented “good value for money.”

“At the end of the day, South Norfolk took a lead four years ago to reduce allowances and since then it has been frozen. Performance has gone up in that time and council tax has been frozen and in that context 3pc is a modest amount. It would be anti-democratic if only the rich and retired applied to be councillors and we have to keep allowances in line with our neighbours,” he said.

A report says that councillors with special responsibilities are working 78 hours a month compared to 66 hours a month in 2009 and the workload of backbenchers has gone up from 41 hours a month to 52 hours. It adds that South Norfolk Council was paying slightly under the average across Norfolk.

Mr Fuller added: “Because of Localism, councillors’ responsibilities have increased and going forward there is an expectation that councillors will take on more responsibilities. It is a much more onerous task. When you look at the hours, it has gone up and there are more responsibilities and more to come.”

The council leader would be paid £9,712 a year and cabinet members £4,856 per year.

16 comments

  • Amazing how some news can linger for days on the frontpage, whilst unfortunate mistakes by Tory cllr.s are soon disappeared. John Fuller has once again shown by how many miles they are out of touch.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • Quite frankly it is a disgrace. As a civil servant this is disgusting. Whilst I actually agree with the pay freeze we currently face it is a huge slap in the face to us. I would put good money on these councillors don't actually do much of thier job, well apart from sign the documents that thier staff do then take all the credit!

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    davidh2183

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

  • I leave it to the voters of South Norfolk to decide if their councillors are doing a good job, but like so many more of our political class John Fuller just doesn't "get it" does he? Any number of people, especially in the private sector, could say how hard they are working for the extra money but they will not get a pay rise and nor will the South Norfolk employees he is managing and from whom he presumably also expects more - you lead by example Mr Fuller! Neither you nor your fellow councillors are a special case.

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    JB

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

  • Personally, I have never met a single councillor of any sort who struck me as being worth the public money they extract from us. The notion that they do any "work" is ridiculous, and most are unpleasant, self-serving nonentities, bereft of ideas or initiate, incapable of doing a proper job and over-fond of their own voices. By all means pay them reasonable (i.e. just adequate) expenses, and let them bask in the glory of working selflessly for their communities, and the good of the County and the Country.

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    T Doff

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

  • South Norfolks council does not deserve a pay rise. A council who's grant committee is in the muddle, operates to two different policies under the same heading,a deliberate confusion, and who lets community action groups down in a year of celebrations, does not deserve a penny more. To those who have suffered from Higher bills and a public sector pay freeze for now two and a half years, this ill timed proposal must feel like a slap in the face.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

  • preposterous ! everyone else in the public sector is on a pay freeze but the politicians wont let the get in the way of a pay increase !

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    Double Bill

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

  • No links to pictures of a champagne swilling 'all in it together departemnt',please, even if it has NI cabinet emplyee Andy coulson in attendance.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

  • Don't forget, we're all in this together!!

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    micklynn

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

  • Let the staff vote on it instead. As pointed out they are the ones on a pay freeze and having to work longer. The staff are the backbone of the council, not the councillors. If councillors get a pay rise so should the staff.

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    Jono

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

  • Personally I value the work my local Councillors do - both District & County. They try and juggle family, work and political life. Evenings & weekends are not theirs to enjoy. A small increase of GBP 130 a year! A whopping GBP2.45 a week. If you look at the hours against income they probably still earn below the minimum wage.

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    Andy T

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

  • Everytime I see Fullers mouth move, all I can hear is "Oink oink!"....

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    User Removed

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

  • Is anyone really surprised by this news? These people have no shame and no comprehension of how ordinary people now despise them.

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    Joy, King's Lynn

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

  • It looks like South Norfolk will soon be in the firing line for a smelly, belchiing waste incinerator Derrick Murphy thinks they are the best invention since sliced bread. If you vote for him you will only live to regret it like the people of Lynn, 65.516 said NO to waste incinerator Derrick Murphy ignored us.

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    Jack

    Tuesday, May 22, 2012

  • What further evidence do we need that local politicians are completely out of touch with the people.

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    Nemesis

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • What happened to the idea of 'public service' In the sixties, my father served on a London council, and the only 'perk' was a snack before an evening meeting. He could have an egg on toast or beans on toast, but not egg and beans, as that was considered excessive! That was the only 'payment' received, and all the councillors were happy that they were doing a service. How times have changed!

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    julygirl

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

  • No wonder Mr. Murphy wants to join his buddy John Fuller at South Norfolk. Let's hope the electorate have long memories and boot them both out in May 2013.

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    Sandy.L

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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