Pay rise of 3% agreed for Somerset county councillors

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County councillors in Somerset have voted to give themselves a 3% pay rise, following a recommendation by an independent panel.

The £371 increase to the basic annual allowance was voted through earlier and has now been accepted by councillors.

The rise will bring the basic allowance to £10,251 a year, before any extra money for chairing committees and other responsibilities is accounted for.

Discussions are also taking place on a 1% pay rise for county council staff.

In January, Somerset County Council announced that with an overall settlement of £336m for 2013-14 compared to £360m for the previous year, savings of £24m would be needed to balance the books.

County councillors also agreed in February to freeze council tax for a fourth year running and draw on £5.6m of reserves to help offset a £23m fall in revenue.

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