Buckinghamshire’s new councillors have agreed to give themselves thousands of pounds in allowances over the next year – amid pleas from struggling residents for a council tax ‘holiday’.

The allowances have been agreed for the next year, with the council leader netting £45,000, the deputy leader £30,000 and cabinet members £23,000.

It comes as hundreds of residents who are struggling – many without work because of coronavirus – sign a petition calling for a three-month council tax exemption.

All councillors on the newly-formed authority will get a basic allowance of £360 between April 1 and May 11, with those on the shadow executive getting £600, substitute shadow executive members getting £300 and the vice chair of the shadow executive getting £150.

After that, from May 11 this year to March 31, 2021, all councillors will get a basic allowance of £13,000, leader Martin Tett will get £45,000, deputy leader Katrina Wood will get £30,000 and councillors who are cabinet members will get £23,000.

An Independent Renumeration Panel (IRP) recommended the council leader be given £45,500, but the deputy leader be given £26,000 – if she has a portfolio to look after – or £13,000 without one.

Cabinet members will also be paid £23,000, against an IRP recommendation of £19,500.

The chairman of the High Wycombe Town Committee will get £3,420 for the role, while a chairman of a new community board – of which there are 16 in Bucks under the new council – will get £1,000.

Former councillor and Bucks Residents’ Association press officer David Meacock said the allowances were “eye-watering”.

The new Buckinghamshire Council was questioned on how the numbers were arrived at – especially as many of the allowances handed out are more than what the IRP recommended.

A council spokesman said: “The council tax bills that have been posted include precepts for police and fire services and, in some cases, parish or town councils. The council's element includes an amount ring-fenced to meet the continuing growing demand for critical services to support vulnerable children and adults.

“The scheme for members' allowances was approved at the meeting of the Shadow Authority on February 27, following consideration by an Independent Remuneration Panel, to which all members were invited to submit representations, and further consideration by the Shadow Executive.

“The basic allowance to be paid to members of the new council is in line with the allowance recommended by the Independent Remuneration Panel and is in line with the allowance paid to members of similar authorities in the South East.

“Members' allowances will be kept under regular review.”