Photo: Peter Dowd, clocked up the largest allowance package last year which totalled just under £35,000
Sefton Council – Councillors Allowances amount to over £750,000
The average Sefton Councillor receives 15 per cent higher payment than the average in Wirral or St Helens, figure published this week reveal. Former Labour Council Leader (now Bootle MP) Peter Dowd (above) received the largest allowances package last year which totalled just under £35,000 while his Bootle Cabinet colleagues each received just under £26,000.
Councillor Dowd’s older brother, Mark was previously the highest-paid councillor on Merseyside at £54,000 per year through his controversial charing of Merseytravel. He has now left the Council but his daughter Marion Atkinson (below) is the new Sefton Cabinet Member for Employment and Skills. Sefton Council Cabinet Members, whose meetings rarely last for more than a few minutes, received the highest pay levels in the North West last year.
The other ‘big earners’ on Sefton Council are the Scrutiny Committee chairs, some of whom received an extra £1000 per meeting for supervising only four meetings per year.
Ainsdale Tory councillor Terry Jones says:
“A lot of councillors work really very hard, sometimes they don’t, and the ones that work very hard get higher allowances because that’s what they deserve to get.”
But local Lib Dem Leader, Cllr Sue McGuire says it is unacceptable for the allowances to be so high, while cuts are being made in council services. She says: “The amount going out from the council for allowances and expenses is too high.”
The Lib Dems locally want to cut the number of Sefton councillors – a proposal they put forward to the full council every year. The Lib Dems also think there should be a reduction in the number of councillors receiving high allowances.
Sefton Council’s councillors’ allowances are set by the councillors themselves after receiving advice from an Independent Remuneration Panel. The 2014/2015 allowance figures are here:
Summary 2013/14 2014/15
Total Allowances £757,138.60 760,193.90
Employer’s NI £30,301.43 33,412.75