Councillors' allowances drop slightly but still top £1m mark
4:50pm Thursday 12th July 2012 in News
The amount paid to Pembrokeshire County Councillors in allowances and travel costs has dropped since last year but still tops the £1million mark for the fifth year running.
Pembrokeshire County Council 60 members received a share of £1,036,232 in 2011/12 - a reduction on last year's £1,051,315 - according to figures published by the authority.
The total figure includes basic allowance, special responsibility allowance (SRA) and travel costs.
It includes a reduction of basic allowance payment to former councillor Kate Becton who stood down in December 2011, receiving £8,854.
The authority paid a total of £803, 849 in basic allowances, £201,690 SRA and £30,693 travel costs.
Topping the pay scale was former council leader Cllr John Davies who received £46,827 which includes £13,743 basic allowance, £29,513 SRA and £3,841 travel costs - the highest claim for travel of all members.
Deputy leaders Cllr Jamie Adams - now leader of the council - and Cllr John Allen-Mirehouse received a total of £28,966 and £30,339 respectively with Cllr Allen-Mirehouse claiming £1,373 travel costs.
The total cost of the cabinet was £280,194 with all members receiving more than £1,000 in travel costs apart from Cllr Jamie Adams and former councillor Anne Hughes who received none.
Cllr Rob Lewis received travel costs of £3,182, Cllr Huw George £2,878 and Cllr David Simpson £2,220.
Outside the cabinet the highest travel cost was paid to Cllr Wynne Evans, who received £2,609, followed by former councillor Sian James with £1,461 and Cllr Mike James with £1,112.
SRAs of £8, 854 were paid to Cllrs David Bryan, Tom Richards and Peter Stock while the leaders of the three political groups, Cllrs Sue Perkins, Stanley Hudson and Michael Williams received £2,951.
SRA for cabinet members was £14,756 with Mrs Hughes receiving £8,362 after taking on the newly separated child safeguarding role following damning reports into safeguarding issues in Pembrokeshire.
The deputy leaders received £15,493 SRA.
Hakin and Hubberston councillors Mike and Vivien Stoddart received a lower basic allowance of £13,233 because they chose to share the £500 IT/communications and office support supplement included because they share a computer.
The council said that that travel costs of all members - which include mileage payments and bridge tolls - were in line with last year and that as in previous years, members have not claimed subsistence allowances for food costs.
National Park allowances
The 18 Members of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority were paid a total of £59,349 in basic and special responsibility allowances in the last financial year, compared with Members receiving a total of £60,268 in 2010/11.
Reimbursement of travelling, subsistence and other expense payments amounted to £6,092 for the same period, compared with £6,509 in 2010/11. The allowances consist of a Basic Allowance payable to all Members of £2,664 per year, and Special Responsibility Allowances payable to the Chairman of the Authority (£5,156 pa), the Vice-Chairman (£2,578 pa), the Chairman of the Development Management Committee (£2,165 pa), the Vice-Chairman of the Development Management Committee (£1,429pa), the Chairman of Performance Review Committee (£714 pa) and the Chairman of Personnel Committee (£357 pa).
The slight decrease in payment of Members’ allowances and travel expense claims during this financial year was due to vacancies occurring and the decision taken by Members to do away with the payment of Special Responsibility Allowances to the Vice-Chairs of the Performance Review and Personnel Committees.