Panel recommends giving Breckland Council members increase in allowance

Breckland Council's offices. Picture: Ian Burt

Breckland Council's offices. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

A district council's members are set for a pay rise after an independent panel recommended they get an increase in their allowance for the next year as 'congratulations' for having the lowest council tax in the country.

Councillors at Breckland Council were also praised for their entrepreneurial spirit by the Independent Remuneration Panel.

The panel, made up of Andrew Egerton-Smith MBE, East Anglian Air Ambulance founder, Jeff Prosser, Alistair Skipper and Alex Sommerville, suggested councillors get an increase in allowance to 1.9pc, taking it to £5,300, for 2016/17.

A report to councillors said: 'During their meetings and deliberations, the Independent Remuneration Panel had been mindful of the financial restraints affecting the council and the public sector as a whole.

'Despite these,the authority continues to perform very well, and the Remuneration Panel wish to congratulate the council for maintaining the lowest Council Tax in the country whilst providing good levels of public satisfaction and local service provision in these times of austerity.'

Philip Cowen, Overview and Scrutiny Committee chairman, and Nigel Wilkin, Planning Committee chairman will also see their allowances rise, up to £11,260 from £10,814, to reflect their extra responsibilities.

Michael Wassell, leader, sees his allowance increase to £21,200, up from £20,800, in line with all special responsibility allowances increasing by 1.9pc.

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Councillors will decide on the proposals at a meeting of full council on January 21.

A similar increase was recommended last year, but turned down by members.

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