'That's the job they do' - Sunderland voters have their say on allowances as councillors vote for freeze
More than a third of Echo readers who voted in an online poll have revealed they think councillors' allowances should be scrapped.
The question came as councillors prepared to vote on whether or not their allowances should be frozen for the 2019/20 financial year - a move that passed on Wednesday at the authority's full meeting. The basic allowance for councillors will remain at £8,369 per year. In an online poll, we asked you for your view on what the rule should be over councillor allowances on Wearside, with 35% of those who took part voting for them to be scrapped. In a close second place (33%), was the option for allowances to be based on how much you do as a councillor.
Ahead of the meeting, Sunderland's Liberal Democrats urged fellow members to ignore the recommendation to freeze the allowances and instead back a plan to cut them, along with expenses. Allowances are set by an Independent Remuneration Panel - and the city's Labour group said that it was "absolutely right" for members to be compensated for costs incurred while carrying out their work.
More than 400 people voted in our online poll, while some of you got in touch on our social media pages to share your view on the issue - with many calling for the allowances to be stopped.
Others backed the idea of "performance-related" pay and.there was praise for allowances being part of the terms that come with the role, which is accessible to all because of this
Here is how you reacted on the Sunderland Echo Facebook page:
Hilda Dickinson: "As a magistrate there were no allowances it was seen as giving back to the community."
Keith Irving: "Scrap the allowances, and give them performance-related pay."
Christopher Barker: "Good point about the role being accessible to everyone, not just wealthy people."
David Alfie Leithes: "Stop the allowance all together. The working person has to pay so why don't they get rid."
Andrew McAlpine: "I don't get people's problem to be honest, that's the job they do and those are the terms that come with the job, is all this negativity simply cos you don't have a job that provides this?"
John Sturdy: "Definitely scrap the allowances."
Gary Thompson: "I don't get extra for my job."
Margaret Crosby: "Check out their attendance statistics, as provided on the council website, and decide if they're worth it?"
Ronnie Johnson: "If they are not happy with the amount they receiving don't run for re-election."