Rotherham councillor allowances to be slashed

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The higher cost of councillors in Rotherham is set to be slashed by around £200,000 as part of its next budget.

The higher cost of councillors in Rotherham is set to be slashed by around £200,000 as part of its next budget.

Basic allowances for 63 members will be reduced by £525, from £12, 130 per year to £11,605, to be in line with other councils and special responsibility allowances for cabinet members and committee chairs will be cut to save £76,000 a year.

A planned rise of 2.2 per cent in allowances, scheduled to take effect in April, will also not be taken by Labour members although the decision rests with individual councillors.

Paul Lakin, leader at the Labour-controlled council, has already merged three cabinet member roles and senior advisor posts to save £48,000.

He said it was part of ‘changing the culture’ of the council.

Coun Lakin added:“The allowances councillors receive enable many people to undertake the role when they would otherwise need to be at work.

“Without them, representing local communities would be a task only the rich or retired could take on. But as we face up to cuts of over £100 million, allowances higher than our neighbours cannot be justified.”

Scrapping free tickets for councillors to the annual civic dinner, reducing the mayoral budget and abolishing pension scheme contributions will save another £75,000.

An independent committee will discuss the changes before they are agreed by full council in March.

The authority is facing a budget gap of £23m in the next financial year and has already cut £100m.