New council chairs share in £58,000 allowances

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Councillors elected to the top seats on the new Antrim and Newtownabbey Council will be eligible to receive a combined £58,000 in allowances over the next 10 months, the Antrim Times can reveal.

The DUP’s Mandy Girvan, and the UUP’s Mervyn Rea, who were last week elected Presiding Councillor and Deputy Presiding Councillor of the new shadow council, are set to share in nearly £20,000 of allowances - on top of their basic £14,200 salary.

Combined with the Chairs and Vice Chairs of the new council committees, together they will be eligible to claim up to £58,333 in allowances over the next 10 months.

The maximum amounts of Shadow Council allowances have been set by the Department of the Environment. The maxima used is based on the council area’s population.

The Presiding Councillor, Deputy Presiding Councillor, Chairs and Vice Chairs of the four committees’ allowances have been calculated on the proportion of the current maximum available, which under the population guidance is £58,333 for the 10 months the shadow council will operate.

The Presiding Councillor will entitled to an allowance of £11,600, with the Deputy Presiding Councillor entitled to £8,000.

The Chairman of the four committees - Nigel Kells, Jim Bingham, Paul Hamill, and Billy Webb - will each receive £6,000.

The Vice Chairman of the four committees - Thomas Burns, Michael Maguire, Trevor Beatty and Annemarie Logue , will receive £3,600.

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