Cambridgeshire

Cambridgeshire councillors back 25% rise in allowance

County councillors in Cambridgeshire have voted to give themselves a 25% rise in allowances despite protests against the proposals.

The council voted to back the recommendations of an independent report which called for an increase from £7,610 per year to £9,500.

The Tory council's leader, Nick Clarke, will see the total allowance he can claim rise from £29,856 to £38,000.

Union Unison organised a protest outside the council offices.

'Free vote'

Terry Parr, Cambridgeshire branch secretary, said: "It would appear to be incredibly insensitive to suggest these increases now when local government employees are losing their jobs."

A spokesman for the council said: "Councillors voted this morning to approve recommendations made by the Independent Remuneration Panel.

"The increase brings Cambridgeshire County Council's allowances more in line with those paid by other county councils.

"Councillors were given a free vote on the issue, and have the option not to accept any increase, or indeed any allowance from the council."

The council has not increased its allowances since 2003.

Its last review was in 2006 when councillors voted not to increase their allowances.

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