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Councillors' allowances among lowest in the country

Boston Borough Council has been highlighted in the national media, following a Taxpayers' Alliance investigation of councillors' allowances across the country, as having had the single biggest increase between 2010/11 and 2011/12. But most have failed to put this increase into context.

The Taxpayers' Alliance report actually reveals that in 2010/11, out of the 435 councils it looked at, the allowance paid to Boston councillors was the fifth lowest in the country, and easily the lowest in Lincolnshire.

Despite an increase for 2011/12 Boston still ranked below 418 other councils out of the 435 examined, and still the lowest in Lincolnshire.

The Daily Mail illustrated Boston at the top of its so-called "Dirty Dozen" and The Sun described Boston's councillors as "fat cats". Neither reported the council's true position near the bottom of the national league table for both years.

The recommendation for Boston Borough Council's councillors' basic allowance increase came from the Independent Remuneration Panel.

Councillors were concerned about the increase recommended by the panel and so agreed to introduce it in stages over a three-year period.

Council leader, Cllr Peter Bedford, said: "The recommendation from the panel recognised that allowances for Boston borough councillors lagged so far behind all others in Lincolnshire."

The agreed increases are:

2011/12 - £2,378 to £3,052 (28 per cent increase);

2012/13 - £3,727 (22 per cent);

2013/14 - £4,400 (18 per cent).

Here are the allowances for other Lincolnshire authorities in 2010/11.

Local Authority

Basic allowance rate

City of Lincoln Council

£4,480

East Lindsey District Council

£4,149

North Kesteven District Council

£4, 052

South Holland District Council

£5,796

South Kesteven District Council

£4,380

West Lindsey District Council

£5,100