Wigan town hall bosses reveal councillors' allowances and expenses

Town hall bosses have revealed how much was paid to councillors in allowances and expenses in the last municipal year.

Friday, 20th September 2019, 4:06 pm
Councillor David Molyneux

Wigan Council has published the total amount received by each of its members in 2018-19.

While elected representatives do not receive a salary, unlike council officers, they are able to claim allowances and some expenses.

Every councillor receives a basic allowance, while those given additional roles, such as cabinet members, are able to claim for a special responsibility allowance.

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Many councillors, including cabinet members, also work full-time or part-time in addition to their roles on the council.

Unsurprisingly, the highest earner was the council leader Coun David Molyneux, who received £56,709.73. That was made up of the basic members’ allowance of £12,511.92, a special responsibility allowance of £44,178.91 and £18.90 in travel and other expenses.

While that was a significant increase on the cash he received last year when he was deputy leader, it was slightly less than that given to then-leader Lord Peter Smith. He received £58,902.36 in 2017-18, made up of £12.300.96 basic allowance and £46,601.40 for his special responsibilty.

Despite stepping down as council leader, Lord Smith continues to represent Leigh West and was given £20,301.37 in 2018-19.

The second highest paid member was deputy leader Coun Keith Cunliffe, who received a total of £36,493.55. That was made up of £12,511.92 in basic members’ allowance and £23,351.33 for special responsibilities. He also got £630.30 for travel and other expenses, which was the largest claim among all the councillors.

Payments were made to 84 elected members - there are 75 seats on the council, but some changed hands in the local election.

Only 27 made claims for expenses, totalling £2,857.13. The majority of these claimed less than £100 each.

The published documents also includes money given to independent members and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) committee allowances, which are payable by the council.

Coun Mark Aldred saw his TfGM payment rocket from £14,124.96 last year to £25,346.54 after he was appointed as a chairman. This was as well as the £12,599.52 allowance he received as councillor for Atherleigh.

A council spokesman said: “The allowances given to councillors are assessed and reviewed every four years by an independent remuneration panel and are in line with other local authority allowances.

“Councillors only receive travel expenses for journeys made outside of the borough.”