Who gets what in your council - and is it good value?
COTSWOLD district councillors receive the lowest basic rate for allowances in Gloucestershire, new figures have revealed.
But taxpayers may not be getting value for money according to the leader of one neighbouring council.
Figures revealed by the Tax Payers’ Alliance (TPA) show that CDC’s members are on nearly half the basic allowance paid to councillors at nearby Tewkesbury Borough Council (TBC).
All CDC councillors can claim a basic rate of £4,000, compared with £7,200 at TBC However, taxpayers in the Cotswolds are paying more on average to the district council at £144.38 per year for a Band D property, compared with taxpayers in the Tewkesbury area who pay £99.32 per year.
And TBC’s leader Cllr Robert Vines said that this is because the authority is more efficient with money than its counterpart.
Cllr Vines said: "Tewkesbury Borough Council’s tax rate is substantially lower than all the other authorities in the county. I think TBC delivers value for money and councillors are more efficient because they are paid more."
However, CDC’s leader Cllr Lynden Stowe maintained that taxpayers in the Cotswolds were getting a good deal as the council offered the lowest basic allowance and levied the second lowest Band D council tax charge in the county.
Cllr Stowe said: "The standard members’ basic allowance has been frozen for five years and, as far as I'm concerned, will be until at least 2016.
"This helps us to be able to promise to freeze Cotswold District Council Tax, all car parking and garden waste charges until at least 2016 - by when, I hope, there will also be 12 fewer councillors at CDC - a cut of more than 25 per cent."
He added that Band D council tax charges reflected services provided by the council and the proportion of homes within valuation bands, and so was difficult to use as a comparison tool between councils.
In addition to a basic allowance, Cllr Stowe can claim a special leader’s allowance of £12,000, which brings his combined allowance to £16,000.
TBC’s leader Cllr Vine can claim a special allowance of £7,937 and £15,137 in total, while Stroud District Council’s leader can claim a significantly higher special responsibility allowance of £16,397 plus a basic allowance of £4,616.
And for the privilege of living in Stroud, taxpayers pay an annual rate of £186.93 to SDC on average – nearly £50 more than CDC taxpayers.
To find out what your councillors can claim, click here