Anglesey council leaders back bid to cut allowances

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Leaders of Anglesey council are backing a move to cut allowances for its elected members, in a bid to reduce council tax bills.

The council's executive want to see the £750,000 a year paid out cut by 10%.

If it is supported by the full council, leaders on the island say it would mean council tax bills would rise by 3.7%, rather than the 4.3% first proposed.

At the moment, all 40 Anglesey councillors receive a basic annual allowance of £13,000.

Council leader Clive McGregor said: "The people of Anglesey feel that it's high time for councillors to stand up and be counted and show that we are willing to share the pain of current economic pressures by taking a cut in their own allowances.

"I hope that the full council shows its wholehearted support when we decide on the Budget and level of council tax next month."

The decision comes days after Mr McGregor called publicly for the move, in a open attack on some other members of the council.

Merger threat

He is due to stand down as the leader in May, but has criticised some of those who will take over as part of a new ruling group on the island.

Anglesey council has been run under special measures since July 2009.

A senior source told BBC Wales that as far as the assembly government was concerned, the troubled authority had reached a "tipping point".

It is understood that a minister will reach a decision about the future of Anglesey council by mid-March.

It is thought one of the options is a merger with neighbouring Gwynedd.

A final decision on the cuts to allowances will be taken on 8 March, when the island's budget will be set.

If agreed, it is expected that an average Band D bill will be set at about at £855.

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