Big drop in the cost of councillors allowances

Tax payers to save money as the cost of county councillors falls by nearly �100,000.

THE cost of paying allowances to Devon County Councillors has dropped by nearly �100,000 in the past two years.

New figures have revealed that the total bill for 2010/11 is �97,000, which is down from 2008/09.

The amount paid in special responsibility allowances for councillors who have cabinet duties or chair committees is down by nearly �56,000.

Mileage and subsistence expenses have also dropped by more than �30,000 and the basic allowance paid to all councillors has fallen by more than �11,000.

The leader of Devon County Council John Hart said: “We promised the people of Devon we would ensure they got value for money.

“We promised this administration would ensure the council was run more efficiently and effectively with a more businesslike approach.

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“We started by cutting the cost of actually administering the council and the allowances paid to councillors themselves.

“This reduction of almost �100,000 has been achieved by cutting out such things as unnecessary special allowances.

“Since then we have cut costs where we can, frozen most job recruitment and reduced bureaucracy and red tape.

“There have been unprecedented changes in Devon County Council, culminating in the streamlining of the authority into our new People, place and policy groupings, with a 25 per cent reduction in senior management.

“Our staff have been asked to take a pay freeze and I am adamant that they won’t be asked to do anything that we are not prepared to do.

“I want us to lead by example and demonstrate to people across Devon that we are here to serve them.”

The ‘cost of democracy’ in the county now stands at �1,001, 575, which is down from �1,098,973 in 2008/09.