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Council’s IT expenses perk is ‘small part of budget’

News from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston

News from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston

Council bosses insist they will find another way to fund an allowance rise for top-ranking members – after voting against a measure that would have paid for some of the cost.

As we revealed last week, Boston borough councillors opted to put special responsibility allowances up 20 per cent in the next two years.

The extra will be paid to cabinet members and high-ranking councillors as part of the extra they get over and above the basic allowance.

The rise was due to be partly offset by a cut to the IT expenses paid out to all members, however councillors chose not to go ahead with this cut at last Monday’s full meeting.

The IT saving was to be £2,500 a year, while the allowance rise will cost £4,060 in 2013-14 and £8,230 a year from then on.

When questioned on where the money will now come from a council spokesman said: “The increase in councillors’ special responsibility allowances will be funded from a range of financial decisions to be presented in the budget report due to go to cabinet in January.

“£2,500 – the amount of IT saving, which was not adopted – amounts to 0.006 per cent of the council’s gross expenditure.”

Opposition members were critical of the timing of the allowance rise – at a time when unions have been approached about possible cuts to staff pay and conditions.

In 2011 a three-year 85 per cent basic allowance rise was voted through.

Council leader Peter Bedford said members at neighbouring authorities, such as South Holland District Council, were paid much more than members here.

 

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