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Cheshire West and Chester Council members claimed total of £500,000 in allowances in authority’s first year of operation

MEMBERS of Cheshire West and Chester Council claimed a total of £500,000 in allowances during its first year of operation when it was a shadow authority.

MEMBERS of Cheshire West and Chester Council claimed a total of £500,000 in allowances during its first year of operation when it was a shadow authority.

Tory council leader Mike Jones (Broxton) received the largest sum with a claim of £29,337.87.

Major components were his basic allowance of £4,387.10, which every member received, plus a responsibility allowance for extra roles totalling £23,251.30.

He claimed £1,664.93 in travel expenses but only £34.54 for subsistence – a category covering accommodation and meals when away from home.

Council spokesman Mike McGivern said: “CWaC councillors are running a £500m authority and, as such, their role is very demanding on their time as well as on their professional and private lives.

“Councillors put in many hours working hard on behalf of their constituents so it is only right that the time and effort they put in is recognised through the allowance system and that councillors are reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses they accrue while on council business.

“It’s also worth remembering that there are now 72 councillors replacing the previous 182, leading to a significant reduction in total allowances paid to councillors.”

Second highest claimer was deputy council leader Les Ford (Frodsham and Helsby) who received £22,276.

Third highest claimer was Cllr Herbert Manley (Abbey) who is in charge of the ‘prosperity’ portfolio. He claimed £12,583.47.

The authority has been a fully fledged council since April 1 and the allowances have gone up. In 2009/10 all councillors will get a basic allowance of £11,458.

Cllr Jones, who receives a £28,645 special responsibility allowance for being leader, will receive £40,103.

 

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