05:10PM, Thursday 17 December 2015
Royal Borough councillors have voted to increase their allowances budget by nearly £90,000 a year.
At Tuesday’s meeting of the full council, it was agreed to add an extra £26,000 to the current yearly members’ allowance budget and £87,000 annually going forward.
A councillor’s basic allowance will rise from £7,225 to £7,920. This means council leader David Burbage would see his additional special responsibility allowance increase from £18,790 to £23,760 a year.
The mayor’s special civic allowance will also be increased to £10,000 a year and the deputy mayor’s to £3,500, costing the council an additional £900 a year.
Together, this will take the total allowances budget up to more than £740,000 per year.
The recommendations for the increase came from a report by an independent remuneration panel, commissioned by the Royal Borough in July.
Cllr Simon Dudley (Con, Maidenhead Riverside), cabinet member for finance and deputy leader of the council, said he was ‘fully supportive of hard-working councillors having an allowance reflective of their contribution’.
But Cllr Lynne Jones, (Old Windsor Residents’ Association, Old Windsor) strongly opposed the proposal.
She said: “I know it’s been identified that we are lower than some councils [in terms of allowance spending and budget] and I do know that councillors put in a lot of time and effort in their wards.
“But I’m concerned that the extra responsibilities allowances do not reflect the savings culture of this borough.”
Cllr Jones, fellow ward councillor Malcolm Beer, and Simon Werner (Lib Dem, Pinkneys Green) all voted against the proposal.
An independent report into a Conservative councillor has found a breach of the Royal Borough’s code of conduct in a document seen by the Advertiser.
Further details have been revealed over how many trains will be running in Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead during planned rail strikes later this month.