Councillors reject plan to give allowances to sector

Nathalie Thomas

Local councillors who suggested softening the blow of voluntary sector budget cuts by forfeiting a portion of their own personal allowances have had their plans scuppered by colleagues.

The proposal that each of Bracknell Forest Council's members give up £1,000 was defeated by 34 votes to eight. Allowances are expected to rise to an average of more than £8,000 this year.

"Setting the budget in Bracknell Forest has been difficult, and one of the economies was the loss of at least £165,000 in the voluntary sector budget," said Michael Beadsley, one of the Labour councillors behind the proposal.

"Had each councillor agreed, it would have created a fund of £42,000," he added.

But the majority Conservative group dismissed the move, saying councillors could choose to make individual donations, which would also allow charities to benefit from Gift Aid.

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