First, I must claim an interest: my wife is a Parish Councillor on Noak Bridge Parish Council. Our local paper has reported that the Council has cut its precept, or tax, for the third year in a row. They have done this by not employing anyone beyond the Councillors themselves, not paying themselves anything, and substituting hard work for even trivial amounts of expense. They have an excellent Chairman in Alison Armfield, who is not my wife I hasten to add, and they have managed all sorts of projects in the village, from replacing old and damaged signs, to installing benches and play and recreation facilities for children and teenagers. They don't even brag about it; their Christmas newsletter's headline is 'Merry Christmas' and it is being delivered by the Councillors themselves. If Basildon District Council had managed a tax cut then you would be able to shut us up about it.
The article was wrong about one thing. They didn't get rid of allowances this year. They never have paid themselves anything.