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Row looms as Norfolk county councillors set to vote on new membership allowance increase

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Norfolk county councillors could vote to increase their allowances, as well as residents’ tax bills, when they discuss budget plans next week.

Proposals for a near four per cent rise in the authority’s share of council tax, for an average band D property, will be considered at a meeting in Norwich on Monday.

But members are also due to consider proposals to raise the allowances given to members in line with the anticipated annual pay award to staff, which is expected to be two per cent.

Norfolk County Council headquarters (3027764)
Norfolk County Council headquarters (3027764)

A report by officials said: “The current proposed budget makes provision for an increase in line with the inflationary increase awarded to staff.

“The leader will move that council approve an increase in members’ allowances in line with the inflationary uplift applied to salaries.”

A recommendation on the issue was deferred at a cabinet meeting last month.

But the move is opposed by opposition parties and the report also includes fierce criticism of the idea from a public consultation into the authority’s plans.

One said: “The increases in councillors’ allowances at the same time as continued cuts to vital services is not justifiable and is insulting to the people of Norfolk.

“Councillors from the ruling party should be ashamed of taking these funds away from front line services.”

However, council leader Andrew Proctor said the budget plans took a “balanced approach” to the authority’s resources.

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