COUNCILLORS have seen their basic and special responsibility allowances frozen for the third successive year.
The allowance, which is paid to all members of Hartlepool Borough Council, is £5,767 and is among the lowest in the region.
CLICK THE EXTERNAL LINK, RIGHT, TO VIEW COUNCIL ALLOWANCES TABLE FOR 2010-11
Mayor Stuart Drummond receives the most in allowances with £58,135 for being Mayor, plus the basic allowance and an additional £9,308 a year for being a member of the Cleveland Police Authority.
Cabinet members Jonathan Brash, Ged Hall, Robbie Payne, Pamela Hargreaves, Hilary Thompson, Cath Hill all receive a special responsibility allowance (SRA) of £5,767 on top of their basic allowance.
SRA, which are per annum, are also paid to chairs of the various council committees.
The basic allowance and SRA, which is paid to councillors with extra responsibilities, is set by the Independent Remuneration Panel and are subject to tax and national insurance.
The total amount paid out in basic and SRA to all 48 members, including Mayor Drummond, for the 2009-10 year was £422,141.
Labour councillor Peter Jackson, who recently stepped down from his portfolio role on the cabinet but will remain on the committee, no longer receives the SRA.
Labour councillor Jonathan Brash, cabinet member for performance, said: “As councillors we recognise the extremely difficult financial circumstances being faced by many people in Hartlepool, which is why we voted to freeze our basic and SRA for three successive years from 2009-10 to 2011-12.
“In addition, the number of councillors in Hartlepool will be reducing from 47 to 33 from 2012 onwards.
“Moreover, I understand from a recent survey carried out by the regional media that Hartlepool councillors receive by far the lowest allowances in the Tees Valley, if not the wider area.
“Every single councillor stood for election to make a positive difference to the lives of their constituents and not for personal gain.
“I believe that in the main councillors work extremely hard on behalf of their constituents, making themselves available all hours of the day to meet the needs of the people they represent.
“Many of them, including myself, do this while also holding down a job.”
If a councillor does not complete a full year then only the relevant proportion of their allowance is paid and members can only receive one SRA, so if they carry out two roles then they receive the higher allowance.
There are three representatives sitting on Cleveland Police Authority, Mayor Drummond plus councillors Caroline Barker and Carl Richardson. Each receive a basic allowance of £9,308 a year.
There are four councillors sitting on the Cleveland Fire Authority, Stephen Akers-Belcher, Reuben Atkinson and Bob Flintoff who all receive a basic allowance of £2,194 a year and councillor Robbie Payne, who receives £4,388 as vice-chair.
Those allowances are paid for by the fire and police authorities.
■ AT Durham County Council, members’ allowances are set on recommendations made by an independent review panel, which last year recommended no change to the level of payment for 2010-11.
Councillors receive a basic allowance of £13,300, cabinet members receive an extra special responsibility allowance of £13,300, and the leader of the council, Labour councillor Simon Henig, receives £36,575 on top of his basic allowance.
Meanwhile, councillors on Stockton Borough Council get a basic allowance of £9,300 per year, cabinet members receive an additional £13,000 and the leader of the council, Conservative councillor Ken Lupton receives an additional allowance of £28,000.