Bury councillors vote in favour of cuts to their own expenses

By Abi Goodman

Bury councillors voted to accept cuts to their own expenses at Wednesday’s council meeting.

The Members’ Allowance Scheme aims to save the council £83,000 in the year 2011/2012 and is one of the Labour council’s key pledges.

Council leader and proposer of the report, Cllr Mike Connolly, said: “Members of this council should lead by example and take some share of the pain.”

Although the council agreed in principle with cutting down their expenses, some members expressed concern that the changes proposed were not enough.

Criticism was leveled by Cllr Michael Hankey who called them ‘a drop in the ocean’ compared to the £18million the council hope to save over the next three years.

Cllr Hankey said that a more far reaching measure would be to reduce the number of councilors in the borough.

All councilors receive a basic allowance of almost £8,000 which will remain untouched.

Councillors will no longer be able to claim for travel within the borough and those with special responsibility allowances will face cuts of 10%.

Chairs of Township Forums will have their special responsibility allowances completely removed.

Currently, special responsibility allowances range from £25,174.17 for the leader of the council to £1,662.08 for the deputy leader of the third largest group.

The council accepted the proposals with cross party support.

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