West Lindsey councillors approve 2% rise in allowances

Councillors on West Lindsey District Council will be able to claim 2% more in their allowances from May.

West Lindsey District Council approved the increase, which equates to around £110, on Monday night.

It takes the total basic allowance for 2019/20 to £5,590 for the year.

However, they voted down a suggestion to cut the amount they can claim on their broadband from £20, currently claimed by just six councillors, to £10 for all 36 councillors.

The change is the result of an annual review by the Independent Remunerations Panel and is in line with staff increases.

Council leader Jeff Summers called the increase a “meagre” amount, especially he said, when comparing it to those on higher-earning salaries.

He said the rise was about “equality across the piste” and added he was looking for an “equitable solution”.

“We’re all working in this together. Many councillors in this chamber not only have got their own work to deal with there’s also in-house work we get involved with,” he said.

Councillor Giles McNeil called the suggestion of cutting broadband a real-term cut of £10 in cash terms to an ordinary councillors, and added tax implications would make it deeper.

Councillor David Cotton said a suggestion that broadband was more readily available was “not correct” and added “it isn’t any cheaper”.

Councillors with special responsibilities such as leaders, committee chairs and independent members are also set to increase their allowances by another 2%.

It would see the council leader being able to claim £12,425 on top of their basic allowances, while his deputy would be able to claim £4,505.

The council chairman would be able to claim £3,980.

According to documents, the increase is lower than the average pay award of 2.5% for 2018/19.

Councillors also approved public transport travel allowances higher than £25 to go before committee administration staff.