TODAY we turn the spotlight on payments made to councillors in Monmouthshire and Blaenau Gwent.

Blaenau Gwent council paid the lowest of the five Gwent authorities in 2010/11 totalling £766,490.61 for both allowances and expenses.

Monmouthshire had the third highest total of £816,688.74.

Monmouthshire councillor Liz Hackett Pain received the highest expenses claim of all Gwent councillors, claiming £4,132 for travel allowances.

The highest claimants in Blaenau Gwent were Des Hillman (£40,709.04) and his deputy John Mason (£28,697.04).

The overall amount claimed by Monmouthshire councillors reduced by over £4,500 compared to 2009/10 and council leader Peter Fox said he was pleased most members claimed less than the Independent Remuneration Panel recommended maximum.

A spokeswoman for Blaenau Gwent council said members had unanimously agreed to freeze their allowances for the second year running in recognition of the effects of the current financial climate on local people and the authority’s own staff,who were facing freezes.

Councillors' expenses 2010-2011

Click on the links to see councillors' expenses in detail for each authority.

Blaenau Gwent