Changes to councillors’ funding pot

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THE amount of money members of Northamptonshire County Council are given to spend in their communities may not be cut by as much as first thought.

When the leaders of the council announced their budget plans in December proposals to reduce the ‘empowering councillors’ fund, which councillors can spend on worthy projects in their area, were put forward.

The idea was to reduce the amount from £7,000 per councillor a year to £5,000 in a bid to save the authority £146,000 a year.

But during a meeting of the council’s cabinet on Tuesday the authority’s cabinet member for finance, Cllr Bill Parker, revealed it was now planned to scale back the reduction.

He said: “The empowering councillors fund is extremely popular, so it has been agreed we should go down to £6,000 a year, rather than £5,000.”

The reduction in savings will cost the authority an extra £73,000.

The move has been strongly criticised by opposition councillors, who have asked why other controversial cuts, such as removing funding from the police or turning off street lights, have not also been reversed.