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Allowances request call
BUS driver Stuart Craft is urging fellow city councillors with an annual household income of more than £75,000 to give up their council allowance.
At the city council meeting last week, Mr Craft, who represents the Northfield Brook ward, put forward a motion suggesting councillors with an annual household income exceeding £75,000 should not claim their basic annual amount of £4,713.96.
He urged the council to set up a committee to “decide the details of a system of means testing for city councillors” to identify which councillors should have the allowance removed.
The motion by Mr Craft, an Independent Working Class Association (IWCA) councillor, has been put forward at two council meetings, but has not yet been discussed because councillors have run out of time.
However, the proposal is likely to be discussed at a council meeting at the town hall on Monday, January 16, at 6pm.
Mr Craft, of Greater Leys, said: “Allowances were brought in for politicians so that the rich would not have a monopoly on being councillors, so I don’t disagree with the system itself. However, I do think there are some councillors who probably don’t need to claim their allowance.”
Labour city councillor Colin Cook said he believed motions to council should not be discussed as part of the council meeting. He said: “It’s sixth form debating society stuff and should be hived off elsewhere.
“I don’t think my household income tops £75,000 but I have no intention of giving up my allowance.”
Liberal Democrat city councillor Jean Fooks, who also said she did not earn more than £75,000, added: “Means testing councillors’ allowances would have to be done in conjunction with the Inland Revenue and could be a major job which would cost money in itself.”