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Thursday, 27 November 2014

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Councillor expenses: More than £1 million claimed but amount down on year before

Cumbria county councillors received more than £1 million in allowances and expenses in 2010-11 – an average of £12,687 each.

Eddie Martin photo
Eddie Martin

But the total paid out to the 84 councillors – £1.065m – is down slightly on the £1.078m paid in 2009-10.

Figures released by the authority show that its leader, Conservative Eddie Martin, got the most.

The Dearham and Broughton councillor received £35,470.

Fellow Conservative cabinet member Tony Markley, who represents Solway Coast, was second with £24,559.

Ian Stewart, the Kent Estuary councillor who leads the opposition Liberal Democrat group, was third on £23,637.

Anne Burns, of Barrow Hindpool, was the most highly-paid Labour councillor on £22,690.

Each councillor receives a basic allowance of £8,030 but many are also entitled to special-responsibility payments as cabinet members or as chairmen or vice-chairmen of committees.

In addition, they can claim travel and subsistence expenses when on council business. And they can claim dependent carers’ allowance if they need to pay someone to look after a child or other dependent while they are on council business.

Five of the 10 highest-paid councillors were Conservatives, three were Labour, one was a Liberal Democrat and one an Independent.

The council has been run by a joint Conservative/Labour/Independent administration since 2009.

Mr Markley claimed the most in expenses, £7,928, followed by Mrs Burns on £6,060. Eleven councillors did not claim any expenses, taking only their allowances.

They included Trevor Allison (Lib Dem, Dalston), Patricia Bell (Lib Dem, Penrith East), Heather Bradley (Lab, Carlisle Currock), Tom Lowther (Con, Eden Lakes), Hugh McDevitt (Lab, Carlisle Denton Holme), the late Jim Tootle (Lib Dem, Carlisle Castle), Reg Watson (Lab, Carlisle St Aidan’s) and Cyril Weber (Lab, Carlisle Harraby).

Have your say

Woah, Anon! "you are the very reason" ! slightly over the top reaction there, Anon.

I posted the link because that was the page I was looking at at the time. The link was supposed to be helpful to people who had never heard of the site. Even though this story is about Cumbria County Council, I don't think it unreasonable to post a more generalised response. I was hoping people might use the link and look around the whole site, not just stay put on that one page. And, yes, they have been publishing information on allowance spending for a long time, however, this is often not very detailed.

Don't be so angry, Anon. It's only the local News and Star.

Posted by A. A. Smith on 20 March 2012 at 18:33

A A Smith. This article is about cumbria county council, yet you point to a link about carlisle city council.

You are the very reason why a two tier system doesnt work, you seem to be entirely unable to rationalise in your mind that two different councils exist that are autonomous of each other.

All councillors allowances of all councils for many years have been publically published. Long before the freedom of information act.

Posted by anon on 19 March 2012 at 21:41

View all 19 comments on this article

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