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Councillor ‘furious’ at meeting claim
9:40am Tuesday 1st May 2012 in News
A row has erupted between a Labour Councillor and her Liberal Democrat rivals after a letter was sent to voters stating she had claimed £19,000 for chairing one meeting.
Labour’s Vanda Greenwood said she was “furious” a hand-written letter had been circulated in her Windhill and Wrose ward by Liberal Democrat candidate John Watmough, who is standing for the party in the ward in this week’s elections.
The letter, signed by Mr Watmough, said even Labour supporters were “horrified” Coun Greenwood accepted “£19,000 in allowances from the Council for chairing just one meeting and has refused to hand it back”.
Windhill and Wrose Liberal Democrats have also raised a petition calling for Coun Greenwood to pay back the money she earned legitimately as chairman of the panel.
The statement, which Coun Greenwood claims is untrue, follows an article in the Telegraph & Argus in December last year reporting that she was paid more than £12,000 up to December 2011 as a special responsibility allowance (SRA) as chairman of the former Miscellaneous Licenses Panel.
The panel, which met to determine applications for village greens, sex shops and lap dancing clubs, was established in 2005.
Coun Greenwood said her predecessors as panel chairmen also legitimately accepted the allowance, which was only scrapped when she brought it to the Council’s attention.
She has since chaired two meetings of the panel without being paid, she said.
Coun Greenwood said: “This panel, position and the allowance were established under the previous administration and were in place throughout several years of Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition during which time the committee met on very few occasions.”