AN attempt to scrap the City of Perth councillor clothing allowance has failed.
Instead, the $13,360 councillors could claim back on clothes, dry cleaning expenses and personal presentation each financial year has been capped at $3000.
During discussion of proposed amendments to council policy in the clothing allowance at last night’s meeting, Councillor Janet Davidson suggested the cap, which passed, despite Councillors Reece Harley, Steve Hasluck and Deputy Mayor Jemma Green voting against it.
Cr Harley, who has had a long-standing opposition to the allowance, restated his position.
“I do not think it is line with community expectations or a responsible use of council money,” he said.
“I believe there were plenty of examples in recent years where councillors have used this expense irresponsibly in my view.
“It’s really disappointing to me that though we have the election of new councillors and positive changes that we are pushing, councillors still aren’t able to bring themselves to be progressive enough to push this barrier.”
Cr James Limnios said he supported the cap because some councillors may need the financial assistance.
“Very recently I was approached by a councillor that expressed to me ‘I would love to be able to do more work but I wont be able to because I personally cannot afford the apparel required’,” he said.
“If we want to introduce younger people, or people who are from lower socio-economic environments, or people due to circumstances cant afford to buy a frock or a suit or a ball gown for some of these black tie events that we have, we need to be able to consider those people and not create an environment that if you don’t tick those boxes, you cant play with us.”
Councillors can also now claim up to $25 an hour in child care while the attend meetings after the City of Perth policy was brought in line with the Local Government Act.
It was previously capped at $20 per hour.