Sunday, 12 February 2012

Standing by our manifesto commitments

From Cllr Clive Hart - Labour Leader of Thanet District Council (TDC).
Amendments to Special Responsibility Allowances (SRA's)
In line with our Thanet Labour manifesto commitment, I have asked the Democratic Services team at TDC to bring a report to council on the 23rd February reducing by 20% the Special Responsibility Allowances paid to some councillors. SRA's are additional allowances paid to myself as Leader, the Deputy Leader, Cabinet Members, Shadow Cabinet members and Chairs and Vice Chairs of committee's. At present, in our 'inclusively' hung council, these extra allowances are spread across all political parties.
If agreed by council, the money saved will be used to reinstate a 'Members Community Grant Scheme' for all 56 councillors to use to support voluntary and community groups in their wards across Thanet. Around two years ago the former Conservative administration scrapped the original scheme which used to support numerous voluntary and community groups and projects across the island. Our Labour plans will see funding reinstated at no extra cost to the ratepayer whatsoever - sum neutral!
Special Responsibility Allowances are paid to councillors who take on posts requiring extra workload and which carry extra responsibility. I know how very hard these councillors work and that the SRA's paid at present are already in relative terms, low pay.
However, we are a hung council and no political party has an overall majority. We need to work together and find new ways to solve our problems. In this instance I am therefore asking those councillors receiving SRA's to sacrifice 20% of their own allowance for the greater benefit of our local community.

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