Councillors Vote To Keep Their Expenses

But agree to close home for disabled

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Ealing Councillors won't be facing any cuts in their expenses but they have been frozen at the current rate until 2014.

The move has been criticised by opposition Conservatives who said they should have been reduced by 10%.

The current budget for Members’ allowances and expenses is £1,133,000, which amounts to roughly a third of the total Democratic Services budget.

Conservative Group Leader Councillor Jason Stacey said:

“A 10% reduction in Members Allowances will produce a savings of £113,000 – which is 1/3 of the money needed to provide a lifeline to the Albert Dane Centre, which Conservative Councillors are still shocked to note that every single Labour Councillors including those in Southall voted to close.

''The Albert Dane Centre provides a valuable lifeline to its users and their families and Labour has betrayed them; first in their decision to close the Centre, and second, in their refusal to shoulder the burden by taking a 10% reduction in their allowances.

''In these times of austerity, it’s frankly not good enough at this stage for Members to just consider freezing their allowances, when staff are facing the possibility of losing their jobs or at the expense of saving a well-used and valuable Centre for the disabled. “

Labour Leader Councillor Julian Bell has responded to the criticism:

“It is extremely hypocritical for the Conservative group to be lecturing us on the subject of allowances. Cllr Stacey’s first act in power in 2006 was to raise his own pay by 50%. The Labour group's first act was to freeze our allowances for four years. When we had a chance to act we did, when Cllr Stacey had the chance to act on councillors' allowances he awarded himself a massive pay rise.

''We will be bringing further savings from the Councillors' allowances budget in due course. The decision on the Albert Dane centre is not just about making savings. The decision reflects the administration's desire to further the personalisation agenda and deliver care that is up to date.

''The steps we have take reflect the fact that service users and the disabled lobby have indicated their wish to move away from the traditional day care model and use their personal budgets to access a variety of services which help them live an independent life.”

21 October 2010


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