“We should never be afraid to talk about councillors allowances,” members of Hastings Borough Council (HBC) heard on Wednesday night.
Giving his support to a report prepared by Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP) Councillor Rob Lee added that councillors must be prepared to talk publicly about their remuneration for the work they do.
The report before councillors for approval was the IRP’s report that recommended that allowances for borough councillors should remain unchanged.
After the council’s cabinet meeting earlier this month Hastings In Focus published details of what councillors receive in payments, it has proved to be one of the most read stories on the site and if you want to find out what councillors receive click this link https://hastingsinfocus.co.uk/2018/12/07/no-increase-for-councillors-allowances/
Mr Lee reiterated a point he made at the cabinet meeting when he reminded all 31 councillors present that allowances paid to Hastings councillors are in among the highest 25 per cent in the south east of England. This, he said, meant the council could potentially consider reducing the level of allowance if it became financially necessary to do so.
However Councillor Sue Beaney expressed concern that to do so would penalise the people that the council needs to be able to attract to stand for election to office while Councillor Paul Foster worried that those in work might be put off becoming a councillor because they lose out by taking unpaid time away from work.
Councillor Judy Rogers, who is responsible for corporate services, reminded members that information on councillors allowances is available on the council’s website. She also backed the need to encourage a wide cross of people to stand for office, “it’s important that we get as wide a cross section of the community as possible involved, if we are going to service the community well,” she said