Fire authority allowances frozen despite calls for them to be reduced amid Government funding cuts

Fire authority chiefs have agreed to freeze their allowances for the next financial year.

The decision, agreed by the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Authority yesterday (Monday, March 18), means all members will be able to claim a £2,500 basic allowance.

They can also claim further ‘special responsibility’ top-ups of up to £12,798 for the chairman of the authority, with separate payments also available for the authority’s vice chairman and leader of the main opposition group.

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This is in addition to any allowances members of the authority already recieve in their role as members of the Tyne and Wear local authorities.

A report for the meeting recommended keeping the payouts at their current levels as a ‘detailed review was undertaken only recently’.

But some used the meeting as an opportunity to call for the payments to be cut in light of savings the fire authority is being forced to make.

Gateshead councillor Daniel Duggan said: “I have concerns about the idea of rolling [the allowances scheme] over when the authority is under a great deal of financial pressure.

“I think the idea of a cut to allowances needs to be considered.”

James Harrison , Local Democracy Reporting Service