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Monday, 14 July 2014

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Cumbria councillors receive more than £1m in allowances and expenses

Cumbria county councillors received more than £1 million in allowances and expenses in 2011-12 – an average of £12,693 each.

Eddie Martin photo
Eddie Martin

Weblink (opens in new window): View the expenses chart in full

The total paid out to the 84 councillors – £1.066m – is almost the same as the £1.065m paid in 2010-11.

Figures released by the authority for the year to March 31 show that its leader, Conservative Eddie Martin, got the most.

The Dearham and Broughton councillor received £36,037.

Fellow Conservative cabinet member Tony Markley, who represents Solway Coast, was second with £24,189.

Ian Stewart, the Kent Estuary councillor who leads the opposition Liberal Democrat group, was third on £23,838. Anne Burns, of Barrow Hindpool, was the most highly-paid Labour councillor on £21,947.

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

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

Mr Markley claimed the most in expenses, £7,558, followed by Mrs Burns on £5,317.

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.

The level of allowances is set by the council on the advice of an independent remuneration panel.

It rises in line with local-government workers’ pay.

There was no increase last year because of the Government’s public-sector pay freeze. Fourteen councillors did not claim any expenses, taking only their allowances.

They included Trevor Allison (Lib Dem, Dalston), Robert Betton (Ind, Botcherby), Heather Bradley (Lab, Currock), Mike Johnson (Con, Aspatria), Tom Lowther (Con, Eden Lakes), Hugh McDevitt (Lab, Denton Holme), Reg Watson (Lab, St Aidan’s), Cyril Weber (Lab, Harraby) and William Whalen (Lab, Castle).

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