THE amount of money earned by councillors was criticised at a recent meeting.

Cllr Richard Hoskins said the £1.25 million earned by councillors in allowances each year should be reduced in light of the financial pressure many residents are under.

Speaking at a full council meeting on Thursday, November 17, the Liberal Democrat called for councillors to be given the opportunity to choose to reduce their allowances.

He said: “Hardship is commonplace among our residents. Should we insulate ourselves from it? We must all share the pain of these difficult times.

“I trust members will have the opportunity to consider and reduce the allowances we decide to pay ourselves, so that we like the residents we serve can show we are prepared to share a little more of their pain in these awful times.”

His speech was triggered by the formality of granting the new Labour leaders a higher rate of pay.

Labour group leader Cllr Jas Athwal and his deputy Cllr Wes Streeting will earn £17,000 and £10,000 respectively due to their new responsibilities.

The Special Rate Allowances (SRAs) are in addition to their basic allowance of £10,138.

Council leader Cllr Keith Prince earns £35,500 on top of the basic rate. Cllr Ian Bond earns an extra £21,000 as head of the Lib Dems and as the deputy leader in the Tory-Lib Dem coalition.

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