Councillor allowances must be fair and cost-effective, says Nelson

Alliance Belfast City Councillor Sam Nelson has said he is disappointed after his proposal to review special responsibility allowances has fallen, having been voted down by Sinn Féin and the DUP.

Belfast City Council Sam Nelson
Councillor Nelson questioned why Sinn Féin and the DUP have awarded themselves an additional £6,500 annual allowance for a role that seems to provide no value.
"Tonight I put forward a simple proposal to seek a report into how money for the 'party secretary role' is being used, what the role entails and that we review how best to support the democratic work of smaller parties," said the Castle Councillor.
"To my knowledge, we are the only Council in NI to fund such a role and it is unclear the benefit that it provides to our council or what the actual role entails.
"As the only parties to benefit from the funding, it is unsurprising that Sinn Féin and the DUP have voted against the proposals. When distributing allowances we should be focused on fairness and value for money, rather than a carve-up between the two biggest parties."