Tories agree to spend £29,000 on extra allowances for their councillors

June 22, 2011 9:31 PM
Jeremy Hilton

Jeremy Hilton

The Tories on Gloucestershire County Council have today agreed to spend an additional £29,000 on handing out special allowances to newly created cabinet project champions.

The leader of the county council, Cllr. Mark Hawthorne, will actually determine the allowance paid to each cabinet project champion.

The Conservatives agreed to create five part-time cabinet project champions on top of the eight full time cabinet members.

Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Cllr. Jeremy Hilton spoke out against the plan, he said: "The Tories today agreed to spend another £29,000 on special allowances to go to members of the ruling party. This will mean that more than 50% of Tory members will be getting an extra allowance, on top of their basic councillor allowance.

"I am deeply worried about possible conflicts of interest. It is unprecedented that the leader should be given a cheque book to handout thousands of pounds, on what seems to be a loyalty bonus, to Tory members doing minor projects on behalf of the cabinet."

Liberal Democrat Dennis Andrewartha said: "The Conservatives are completely out of touch with the citizens of Gloucestershire, whilst they make the biggest cuts in public services the county has ever seen they are ensuring there are more paid jobs for the boys. No matter what spin they put on this decision, they have today, unnecessarily increased the cost of our democracy."