Letter: Councillors are good value

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Sir: Your item on councillors' pay ("Councillors' pay rises by a third", 21 May) referred to Birmingham's spending on allowances for its 117 elected councillors.

The new regulations were, in the Conservative government's own words, designed to "encourage people with a wide range of backgrounds, experience and skills to serve as councillors" and to "allow local authorities to give more adequate remuneration to those councillors with special responsibilities".

The total expenditure on councillors' allowances actually represents less than 0.04 per cent of the gross expenditure of Britain's largest local authority. Payments equate to around pounds 25 per day per councillor or just over pounds 1 per elector per year - looked at either way this represents extremely good value and a small price to pay for the maintenance of local democracy.

MICHAEL LYONS

Chief Executive

Birmingham City Council

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