A FORMER council leader has claimed his own colleagues are more concerned with their allowances than working for their constituents.

Tory Rochford district councillor Peter Webster launched an astonishing attack on his fellow members who, he claimed, were "too lazy" to fill in a questionnaire about how the authority worked.

The questionnaire was sent to all of the 39 councillors, asking for their views on the workings of the review committee during its first year of operation.

However, only 22 members replied to the questions posed, even though they did not have to give their names.

Mr Webster, who was the council chairman last year and previously led the controlling Tory group, told the committee: "Quite frankly, I feel this is a damning indictment on some members of the council.

"It seems to me that all they are interested in is the amount of money they get at the end of each month."

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Webster said the workload on some councillors was becoming heavier and heavier, especially with the Government demanding the council takes on more responsibility.

He added: "But it is a fact there are others who are doing very little, either to contribute to the working of the council or to look after the interests of their constituents."

He would not name any member but said: "They know who they are and they could easily lose their seats if there was strong opposition".

Mr Webster's wife, Mavis, is currently the chairman of the district council and also serves as a Rayleigh county councillor.

Chris Black, leader of the minority Liberal Democrat group on the council, said: "When you get a party with a massive majority on any council you will have a few who do very little, which is not fair to their constituents or to the members of the minority party.

"I would add there are some Rochford district councillors who aren't even known in their own wards."