Devon county councillors freeze allowances for another year

Councillor John HartCouncillor John Hart

Posted on: 18 February 2016

Allowances for county councillors in Devon are to be frozen for the seventh year running.

The Conservative administration froze basic allowances when they took control of County Hall in 2009.

And council leader John Hart and his deputy, John Clatworthy, reverted to the rate that the leader and deputy leader were being paid in 2005.

The council has continued the freeze since then.

And the county council’s Budget meeting today (Thursday) confirmed a further freeze on allowances for 2016/17.

Mr Hart said: “This has been a period of unparalleled austerity. We have faced difficult decisions on making millions of pounds of savings because of the reduction in Government grants.

“We managed to freeze council tax in the early years of this administration but we are having to ask the people of Devon to pay 90p a week more on average in the coming year.

“We have to find the money to provide the services we are legally obliged to provide but there is very little left to do what we would like to do.

“That means we have been faced with some very tough choices in making savings.

“Increasing allowances wouldn’t have added very much to the council tax burden but I don’t feel we should award ourselves a rise when we are asking the people of Devon to pay more.

“I promised when I took over the county council in 2009 that I would do my very best to ensure our council taxpayers got value for money.

“We have cut millions of pounds of costs, reduced our payroll without mass redundancies, streamlined management and slashed bureaucracy and red tape.

“I remain determined to spend the biggest proportion possible of every pound we receive on services, not on backroom costs, and I believe freezing allowances for another year is a visible sign of that commitment.”

Posted in: Politics