District councillors have been urged to ‘carefully consider’ the implications of calling for an increase in their annual allowances.
The message comes from East Lindsey District Council leader Craig Leyland.
Councillors receive a basic allowance of £4,190 - the lowest figure of any authority in Lincolnshire.
But a review of allowances is currently under way.
It comes just a week after Coun Leyland warned ELDC is facing massive financial problems because of cuts in Government funding.
He confirmed some services could be reduced, axed or handed to town and parish councils.
He also said the district share of council tax bills would increase by 4.6 per cent.
Coun Leyland said: “It is very important to realise that it is an allowance - and not a salary.
“The figure is set by an independent panel.
“On the last two occasions, we (the district council) have declined a recommended increase.
Of the latest review, he said:“I have absolutely no idea what their recommendation might be.
“Councillors will be allowed a ‘free vote’. There will be no party whip but I would urge them to carefully consider the situation the council finds itself in.”
Apart from the basic allowance, additional payments are made to councillors with special responsibilities with, for example, the planning committee chairman receiving an ‘extra’ £3,412.
As leader, Coun Leyland is entitled to an additional £12,568 and the deputy leader £6,248.
In last week’s Leader, Coun Leyland warned ELDC was facing massive financial problems because of reductions in the amount of money it receives.
The council is looking to save £6million over the next four years and Coun Leyland admitted many services could be under threat - even with the 4.6 per cent increase in tax bills.
He stressed jobs could be on the line but pointed out large scale redundancies were not ‘driving’ the cost saving programme.
An ELDC spokesman confirmed a review of allowances was under way with a report expected in spring.
He said: “The Independent Remuneration Panel is currently reviewing the Members’ Allowances Scheme, which covers the basic allowance, special responsibility allowances, travel and subsistence and the dependent carers’ allowance.
“The panel is yet to draw any conclusions as the review is ongoing.
“The panel’s report is expected to be available later this spring and it will be for councillors to consider the recommendations the panel is making
“The council is expected to review its allowance scheme on a regular basis, with the last review being in 2013 – at which time councillors rejected the recommendations of the panel and rejected any increase in allowance.”
Plans to devolve some powers to town and parish councils have not been well received - not least because councillors on the smaller bodies do not receive an allowance.
Coun Leyland has appealed to town and parishes to sit down with ELDC and discuss the cost-saving proposals .
He has pledged services to ‘vulnerable people’ would be protected - where possible.
He also said funding would be found to boost economic development and create new jobs.