Council chairman's value

PUBLISHED: 07:57 03 July 2007 | UPDATED: 11:14 24 May 2010

THE chairman of North Somerset Council will now be allowed to attend any function he feels will benefit the district. Previously the Lib Dems decided to slash the chairman's £80,000 allowance for a Mercedes Benz car, chauffeur and personal assistant who o

THE chairman of North Somerset Council will now be allowed to attend any function he feels will benefit the district.Previously the Lib Dems decided to slash the chairman's £80,000 allowance for a Mercedes Benz car, chauffeur and personal assistant who organises a diary to just £20,000.But the new Conservative administration at Weston Town Hall believes the chairman is vital for promoting the work of the authority.It has also been underlined that the chairman will take priority over any other mayor at civil functions.Council leader Nigel Ashton said: "Severe restrictions were placed on the chairman's role by the previous administration and I think this was very short sighted. It is a very important role and not just an expense."The chairman will be allowed to visit any function he feels is to the benefit of North Somerset Council within existing resources and within the budget."The current chairman of the authority is Cllr David Shopland, who represents the Clevedon East ward.A row erupted last year when it was revealed previous office holders had used the allowances for engagements including a visit to a clairvoyant in Wales.

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