Derby council votes to freeze its expenses

Derby city councillors have voted to freeze their expense account allowances for the next year.

A remuneration panel had recommended a 7% decrease in allowances, but councillors voted to maintain the current level.

Ian Samways, chairman of an independent remuneration committee, said he was upset at the rejection of the proposal.

Councillors said they had not increased allowances over the past two years so the freeze was a cut in real terms.

Cut 'fair'

Mr Samways said his committee believed the cut was fair because he said the Conservative-run council was facing cuts of 7% overall.

The proposal would have meant a cut of £54,000 in the entire member's allowances budget.

"All we were seeking to do was to get the 51 elected members of Derby City Council to share a little bit of the pain in terms of the allowances they get at a time when council staff are being made redundant," Mr Samways said.

Councillor Philip Hickson said: "I was baffled by this curiously flawed report which doesn't give any reasons for the proposals recommended.

"The reasons should be scientific and evidential. A more rational, balanced and measured look needs to be taken."

The council agreed to ask party leaders to examine the issue in case a change needs to be made next year.

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