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Councillors cost us £1.35m in expenses
AN independent councillor is calling for a flat fee to be introduced for Cheshire East Council expenses after payments cost taxpayers £1.35million last year.
Clr David Brickhill is concerned that under the current system many of the borough’s elected representatives can be paid more than double their basic allowance.
Most councillors are paid £11,199 but can be given substantial extra funds for ‘special responsibilities’ such as chairing meetings or being on the executive, board or cabinet of the authority.
Figures for members’ allowances for April 2011 to March 2012 are officially released on Wednesday.
Former council leader Wesley Fitzgerald topped the list with £41,644 claimed.
Clr Jamie Macrae, member for Mobberley, and Clr Roland Domleo both claimed more than £30,000.
Councillors Rachel Bailey, David Brown, Hilda Gaddum, Rod Menlove and Roger West all claimed more than £25,000.
More than £20,000 was claimed by borough mayor George Walton, from Chelford, Clr Gordon Baxendale, Clr Harold Davenport and council leader Michael Jones.
“Extra work should get extra pay but not more than half the basic allowance,” said Clr Brickhill, who claimed a total of £11,517.
Clr Harold Davenport, chairman of the strategic planning board, claimed £738 for subsistence – more than all the other councillors put together.
He and Clr Jamie Macrae also top the list of travel expenses with more than £5,000 claimed.
Clr Bill Livesey also claimed £4,091 in travel expenses with £1,188 in special allowances.
“I think we should ask these people how they justify claiming more than the £11,000 pay given to all councillors,” added Clr Brickhill.
Knutsford councillors Stewart Gardiner, Peter Raynes and Olivia Hunter claimed £10,443, £12,315 and £16,939 respectively Dane Valley councillors Les Gilbert and Andrew Kolker claimed £19,183 and £19,328 and Clr Steve Wilkinson, ward member for High Legh, claimed £15,821.
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