Barnet councillor defends �15k allowance for committee that has not met for 18 months

A Barnet councillor has come under fire for receiving �15,333 in special allowances for being chairman of a committee that has not met for 18 months.

Cllr Andreas Tambourides, chairman of both the licensing committee and east area planning sub-committee, is allowed to claim one special allowance under Barnet Council rules.

Although the licensing committee has not met since December 2010 he has claimed the allowance as he is chairman of both committees and has chaired the planning sub-committee.

Mr Tambourides has been criticised by online news site The Barnet Bugle for claiming the allowance on top of his �10,597 basic allowance.

The website said: “Questions are being raised as to why a committee, for which it is almost impossible to deduce evidence of any significant activity, attracts such a huge allowance.”

Mr Tambourides can claim �8,852 for being chairman of the planning sub-committee but has chosen to claim the higher allowance from the licensing committee.

Until recently, councillors were allowed to claim a stipend for every committee.

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Mr Tambourides defended the allegations and said: “Even though the licensing committee is not meeting, the sub-committees carry on as usual. I sit in on some of these. This allowance is agreed by members and we have got to go by it.”

A council spokesperson said: “Cllr Tambourides has sat on 13 licensing sub-committees since the last meeting of the licensing committee in December 2010.

“Licensing committees meet to discuss changes in legislation, whereas licensing sub-committees deal with day to day licensing matters. The next committee meeting is on July 11.”