Almost £500,000 for councillors’ salaries/expenses
Figures released today show the authority’s recently departed political leader Josie Simpson and convener Sandy Cluness as being among the top earners during 2011/12.
Mr Simpson claimed £16,253.16 in expenses over and above his £26,168.44 salary, giving him a total income of £42,421.60 – up from the £33,580 he took home the previous year.
Mr Cluness, meanwhile, took home £32,423.57 this time round – £11,240.13 of which came from the expenses pot. Although the figure made him a high earner in council circles, it was down on the £36,288 he received in 2010/2011.
But their expenses were less than that of retired West Side councillor Florence Grains. Her £17,135.57-worth of claims were the highest of all elected members, and almost £3,000 up on her previous expenses total of £14,232.
Many of the claims were made to cover taxi fares to the town hall. They almost doubled the £17,822 salary non-driver Mrs Grains took home as chairwoman of the audit and standards committee.
The various other chairs of council committees were also high earners.
Development chairman Alastair Cooper took home a penny over £26,890 – £8,223.84 of which came from expenses.
Robert Henderson, the harbour board chairman in the last council, was handed a combined salary and expenses of £23,954.68, while social services chairman Cecil Smith got £23,194.96.
Allan Wishart, who was made chairman of environment and transport in December, took home £21,417.62.
Chairwoman of education and families, Betty Fullerton, was awarded £21,304.18.
As planning chairman Frank Robertson took home £20,889.56 – above licensing chairman Jim Budge at £18,982.27.
Unsurprisingly, Iris Hughson, who left the council at the tail end of last year, was one of the two councillors to take home the smallest amount of cash with a combined salary and expenses of £11,307.23.
Her successor, Davie Sandison, has so far not made much of a mark on the wages/expenses bill, with just £4,581.09.
Other councillor figures for combined salary and expenses were: Gussie Angus £22,441.27; Allison Duncan £21,019.80; Rick Nickerson £20,174.02; Laura Baisley £19,412.71; Jim Henry £18,612.46; Gary Robinson £18,543.72; Addie Doull £17,877.31; Jonathan Wills £17,417.20; Bill Manson £17,295.32; Caroline Miller £17,191.46; and Andrew Hughson £16,791.03.