Inflated rise

Yet again Mr Meredith has highlighted an important issue. Four years ago a Conservative councillor said that North Somerset was an 'average council', with an average

Yet again Mr Meredith has highlighted an important issue. Four years ago a Conservative councillor said that North Somerset was an 'average council', with an average budget and proposed that members receive the average allowance of the neighbouring authorities. This proposal increased allowances from £4,000 to £6,000 a year. It was further agreed that, to avoid such large increases in future, allowances would be increased by the rate of inflation. This pattern has been followed until now, which is why the allowance is an odd figure. The only variation was that the Liberal Democrats reduced the mileage allowance of councillors from nearly 50p per mile to just over 40p in line with the staff allowance. This was only possible after the Conservatives declined to help in running the council. Last May, candidates offered themselves to the public knowing what the allowances were. Nobody has explained why these terms should now change. I know that some councillors make a considerable financial sacrifice to undertake their duties but they are all volunteers. This is the second time in recent years that the Conservatives have used their numbers to give themselves an inflation busting pay rise. I just hope that in three years time the general public remember. JOHN H CLARK, GLENWOOD RISE, PORTISHEAD


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