Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.
What price the elected leader of your council?
The stark differences in Sussex council leaders’ allowances can be revealed today following an investigation by The Argus.
Council leaders get as much as £40,000 a year with one paid three times the amount of his counter- part at a similar sized council.
As well as receiving a basic allowance – along with every other councillor – leaders are given a special responsibility allowance (SRA) for their added commitments.
Leaders of the bigger councils traditionally receive greater amounts due to their increased responsibilities and duties.
For example, Peter Jones, the leader of East Sussex County Council, which serves 515,500 people, gets £34,929 a year.
In comparison, Neil Parkin, the leader of Adur District Council serving 60,600, gets £8,175 a year.
A fairer comparison is achieved by dividing the total each council- lor gets in allowances by the number of people the council serves.
At £18.93 per 100 constituents, Mid Sussex District Council leader Garry Wall receives one of the highest rates of allowances.
Along with a basic allowance of £4,501, Coun Wall gets £20,590 SRA for serving the district’s 132,500 population.
He told The Argus that the amount justified what was in effect a full-time job and added that if other council leaders were receiving less than him then it was up to them to ask for more.
Crawley Borough Council leader Bob Lanzer receives £18.80 per 100 constituents with a £5,949 basic and £14,281 SRA.
This compares to the £6,630 received by the Eastbourne Borough Council leader, David Tutt.
His allowance for serving the town’s 97,000 population equates to just £6.80 per 100 people.
Coun Kitcat said: “This is all I do. I don’t have another job to go to and I think the amount is justified for running a city.”
Louise Goldsmith, leader of West Sussex County Council, who gets the highest annual amount at £41,774, added: “I really work very hard, often between 60 to 80 hours a week. Anyone can spend a few days with me and see how hard I work.”
Councillors are unsalaried but receive allowances as a modest payment in return for their attendance at meetings and events.
Neil Parkin, the leader of Adur District Council, said that the varying rates were a problem. He said: “It is like a full-time job and there is a great deal of responsibility but there is no reason why there should be such huge differences in allowances.”
What do you think? Write to the letters editor or letters@the argus.co.uk.
CRAWLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL Basic: £5,949 SRA: £14,281 Total: £20,230 Population: 107,600 Allowance per 100 people: £18.80
EASTBOURNE BOROUGH COUNCIL Basic: £2,652 SRA: £3,978 Total: £6,630 Population: 97,000 Allowance per 100 people: £6.80
CHICHESTER DISTRICT COUNCIL Basic: £4,300 SRA: £13,250 Total: £17,550 Population: 113,500 Allowance per 100 people: £15.46
LEWES DISTRICT COUNCIL Basic: £2,975 SRA: £13,799 Total: £16,774 Population: 97,500 Allowance per 100 people: £17.20
HORSHAM DISTRICT COUNCIL Basic: £4,665 SRA: £12,376 Total: £17,041 Population: 130,800 Allowance per 100 people: £13.02
ADUR DISTRICT COUNCIL Basic: £3,270 SRA: £4,905 Total: £8,175 Population: 60,600 Allowance per 100 people: £13.60
WORTHING BOROUGH COUNCIL Basic: £3,897 SRA: £7,467 Total: £11,364 Population: 103, 200 Allowance per 100 people: £11.01
WEALDEN DISTRICT COUNCIL Basic: £4,215 SRA: £12,330 Total: £16,545 Population: 144,100 Allowance per 100 people: £11.48
MID SUSSEX DISTRICT COUNCIL Basic: £4,501 SRA: £20,590 Total: £25,091 Population: 132,500 Allowance per 100 people: £18.93
WEST SUSSEX COUNTY COUNCIL Basic: £11,030 SRA: £30,744 Total: £41,774 Population: 799,700 Allowance per 100 people: £5.20
ROTHER DISTRICT COUNCIL Basic: £4,237 SRA: £12,376 Total: £16,613 Population: 89,900 Allowance per 100 people: £18.47
BRIGHTON AND HOVE CITY COUNCIL Basic: £11,463 SRA: £28,758 Total: £40,221 Population: 258,800 Allowance per 100 people: £15.54
ARUN DISTRICT COUNCIL Basic: £4,870 SRA: £14,196 Total: £19,066 Population: 150,600 Allowance per 100 people: £12.66
EAST SUSSEX COUNTY COUNCIL Basic: £10,842 SRA: £24,087 Total: £34,929 Population: 515,500 Allowance per 100 people: £6
HASTINGS BOROUGH COUNCIL Basic: £5,559 SRA: £11,118 Total: £16,677 Population: 87,200 Allowance per 100 people: £19.12