At the Full council meeting this evening (see previous blog on Rainwater Harvesting) Greens sought to cut car allowances to councillors in a bid to save money and CO2 emissions. We also sought an amendment to remove the cap on Dependants Carers Allowance available to councillors who need to employ help so that they can attend meetings.
Photo: Council Chamber before meeting
It was very disappointing that despite considerable support for the two Green party amendments, both were defeated by the administration. However there is still some hope - the Tories did not rule them out completely and the Council voted to let the Independent Remuneration Panel consider these moves later in the year.
In putting forward these two measures Greens sought to save the Council money and CO2 emissions and not rewarded councillors who have larger sized cars as the current system does. This measure would have also more than paid for removing the cap on Dependants Carers Allowance. Indeed it seems extraordinary there is a cap on supporting dependents so that councillors can attend meetings, yet no cap on the mileage councillors can claim. If we are interested in seeking wider representation in our communities this is a measure we need to take.
Greens have repeatedly over the years sought to tackle these allowances - see here a news release dating back to 2003 on the same topic. Since then things have changed and I have to say I am optimistic that we will eventually win on this!! Certainly there was no serious opposition expressed to the principles.