A BID to cut extra payments worth thousands of pounds to senior councillors has been rejected.

Liberal Democrats on on Lancashire County Council wanted to reduce the special responsibility allowances of between £8,382 and £30,484 by 10 per cent.

They are added to a councillor’s basic allowance.

The authority's Cllr Geoff Driver gets £30,484, his deputy Cllr Albert Atkinson £21,338 and cabinet members £16,766.

Almost thirty other Conservative councillors - chairs of scrutiny committees and cabinet deputies - currently receive the  £8,382 pay,ment.

The move was defeated at Thursday's Full Council meeting of the authority.

LibDem Cllr David Howarth said: “I don’t think it’s unreasonable to question how many special responsibility allowances there are and how much we’re paying out.”

Ribble Valley North-East's Cllr Atkinson told the meeting that the payments were a reflection of the work being undertaken, adding: “A lot of councillors are in this building every day of the week and work at weekends as well."

Labour’s Steve Holgate warned cutting the payments would make it more difficult to attract councillors in future.

He said: “There are a lot of people who could earn a lot more money than by being a county councillor – and we need people to take on these responsibilities.

“As long as those who are paid special responsibility allowances do the job effectively, I have no issue with that."