Tory councillors receive £292k in responsibility allowances

Chichester's County Hall SUS-160818-125926001
Chichester's County Hall SUS-160818-125926001

Tory county councillors receive around £292,000 a year in special responsibility allowances.

All 70 elected members are entitled to a basic allowance of £11,414 per annum and can also claim costs towards travel and subsistence expenses.

But many councillors are also paid an extra special responsibilty allowance (SRAs) if they are a cabinet member or chair a committee.

A total of 24 Tories are currently paid SRAs, which equates to £292,787 a year, compared to £38,991 paid to five opposition members.

The figures were released by West Sussex County Council in response to a written question from James Walsh, leader of the Lib Dem group at County Hall.

Louise Goldsmith, Tory leader of the county council, receives the highest SRA of £31,664, while six of her cabinet members and current chairman of the council Lionel Barnard, are paid £20,265 a year.

Peter Catchpole, cabinet member for health, receives slightly more at £22,798 as he is also deputy leader of the council.

Roger Oakley, vice-chairman, receives £8,060, with the four chairmen of the main select committees and the chairman of the planning committee paid £8,935.

A senior advisor to cabinet members’ SRA is £5,294, while an advisor receives £3,406, the same amount as members of the foster and adoption panels are given.

Dr Walsh receives £11,826 SRA as leader of the nine-strong Lib Dem opposition group, while Sue Mullins, leader of the five-member Labour group, is paid £11,026.

Lib Dem Nigel Dennis is paid £8,935 for chairing the Regulation, Audit, and Accounts Committee.

An opposition member sits on both the adoption and foster panels.

According to the written answer the figures are indicative because a number of changes came into effect before May’s election.

The current allowance scheme was agreed by the council in December 2016 after recommendations from the Independent Remuneration Panel.