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County councillors in Norfolk shared more than £1m in allowances last year, new figures have revealed – but the total was down slightly on the previous year.
Councillors do not receive salaries, but they are entitled to certain allowances. That includes a basic, flat rate allowance of £8,928 a year –intended to recognise the commitment of all members, including such calls on their time as meetings with officers and constituents and attendance at political group meetings.
The allowance also covers the costs of travel within members’ divisions, such as site visits and meetings with constituents.
Special responsibility allowances are paid to members with “significant additional responsibilities” such as being council leader, a cabinet member, committee chairman or leader of the opposition.
Travelling and subsistence allowances are payable to members to reimburse them for costs incurred in carrying out certain council duties and includes mileage costs in getting to meetings at County Hall.
Council leader Derrick Murphy was paid the most in allowances, with a total of £39,365, with £26,111 of that his special responsibility allowance as council leader.
Former Liberal Democrat leader Paul Morse, who stepped down earlier this year, received £22,745 in allowances, while Richard Bearman, leader of the Green group, received just the basic allowance of £8,928.
George Nobbs, leader of the Labour group, received the basic allowance of £8,928, plus £47 in travel and subsistence costs.
A total of £1,088,533 was paid to 86 councillors in 2011/12, along with a special responsibility allowance for standards chairman Stephen Revell. That was down slightly on the £1,104,283 paid in 2010/11.