Councillors' pay rises by third

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The Independent Online
Councillors' pay has risen by 34 per cent during the past year, according to a survey which also showed councils in England and Wales are giving pounds 53m a year to their elected members.

Two years ago the Conservative government lifted caps on what councils can pay their members and according to these figures - collected by Local Government Chronicle - most have taken advantage of their new-found freedom.

Birmingham spends the most on rewarding its members. Its 117 members get pounds 769,000 in allowances. The highest paid individual councillor is the Labour leader of Leicester, Peter Soulsby, who receives pounds 26,145.

On average each councillor received pounds 2,413 in the year ending in April. The most frugal council was Berwick upon Tweed district which paid its members an average of pounds 774 each. David Walker