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The bill for county councillors allowances claimed in 2016-17 came to £1.75m

By Paul Francis

County councillors received tax-payer funded allowances of £1.75m in 2016, official figures published by the council show.

The sum is down on the total for 2015-16 when councillors received £1,767,838 compared to £1,744,978 this year.

KCC sparked controversy recently when its members awarded themselves a 15% rise in their allowances - claiming that it brought them level with increases in salaries for public sector workers.

Kent County Council leader Paul Carter (Con)
Kent County Council leader Paul Carter (Con)

They did so despite an independent panel recommending that they accept a rise of just 1.5%.

The additional 15% will equate to about an extra £200,000 on bills over the next four years.

Of the bill this year, £1,070,775 was for the basic allowance that all members qualify for - £12,805.

Additional allowances paid for those with special responsibility such as cabinet members accounted for £558,383 of the overall sum.

Travel expenses also added to the bill with £106,903 claimed for car use by members on official council business.

However, far less was spent on trains and buses with members claiming £7,598 for public transport.

The Conservative leader Paul Carter was the highest paid receiving a total of £57,280 of which £42,109 was his allowance for leader.

The public taxpayer also funded the use of taxis and official KCC cars by members to the tune of £5,367 - with the former deputy leader Cllr Alex King, who is no longer a member, claiming £ 3370.40.

And the bill for chauffeur driven cars came to £35,749 which was less than the £48,178 last year.

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