Councillors claim ‘gross pay’ of £280k

Council HQ, Mossley Mill.
Council HQ, Mossley Mill.

Newtownabbey councillors were paid over £280,000 in allowances and expenses in the past financial year.

Figures released by the council on its website show that the 25 elected representatives received a “gross pay” of £284,071.66 for the council year 2012/13. The figure represents over £20,000 less than the £306,000 claimed in the previous year.

Councillor Victor Robinson received the highest amount of £15,906.73. This was because he was Mayor for the period and received a special responsibilty allowance of £5,633.33 for holding the office.

Receiving the lowest amount was Councillor Paula Bradley who was handed £2,079.45 during the period.

Each member was paid a basic allowance of £9,738 apart from councillors Paula Bradley and Paul Girvan, who both received £2,028.75 as their allowance is reduced because they also hold seats in the Assembly.

Councillors also receive Special Responsibility Allowances for holding chair or vice-chair positions on the council’s various committees; sitting on the PCSP and being either Mayor or Deputy Mayor to help them with the “added civic responsibility”.

Each representative can also claim travel expenses, meal costs, internet and telephone costs.

All councillors, except Sinn Fein representative Gerry O’Reilly, made a claim in one or more of these categories during the council year.

Councillors made a total mileage claim of £13,337.87 with Councillor Pat McCudden claiming the most at £2,157.35 while the DUP’s Mandy Girvan claimed the least at £46.80.

In “other travel expense claims” councillor Pat McCudden again claimed the most at £120.87 of an overall £322.07 claim made by nine councillors. Councillor Robert Hill made a £6 claim in the same category, which was the lowest amount.

In expenses for “subsistence”, or meals, six councillors made claims totalling £607.98. Mayor Fraser Agnew claimed the most at £160.18 while Alderman John Blair claimed the least at £64.16.

All but nine councillors claimed for “internet/telephone expenses” with Alderman Paul Girvan claiming the most at £506 while Noreen McClelland claimed the least at £175.98.

The full breakdown of figures is available on the council’s website - www.newtownabbey.gov.uk