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KCC leader tops country's pay league

THE highest paid council leader in the country is the Conservative leader of Kent County Council Sandy Bruce-Lockhart, according to a survey of more than 100 local authorities. Cllr Bruce-Lockhart, who is entitled to claim £46,000 a year for his work after hefty pay increases agreed in July, earns more than double the average of £21,701 “paid” to the leaders of other shire county councils.

The eight other members of the Tory cabinet, now the key-decision making body at County Hall, are entitled to £22,750 each. That is more than double the average paid to cabinet members of other county councils, according to the survey.

The £46,000 paid to Mr Bruce-Lockhart also comfortably outstrips the average £12,500 earned by other council leaders, including smaller boroughs and districts.

The findings are revealed in a survey conducted by the local government improvement and development agency. It revealed that councillors’ pay nationally had risen by 60 per cent in the past five months. The survey was based on responses from 113 councils, roughly a third of the total in England.

In July, an independent panel recommended steep increases in the allowances paid to all 84 Kent county councillors. They reflect the increasing workload for many councillors as a result of the introduction of cabinet government.

Councillors accepted the panel’s recommendations and voted for a basic allowance of £11,000 a year – a £7,000 increase on the previous rate. Cllr Bruce-Lockhart receives £35,000 a year in his role as council leader and is also able to claim the basic allowance – a total of £46,000. Labour opposition leader Cllr Mike Eddy receives £17,500.

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