MEMBERS of a watchdog have decided to forgo a pay rise - for the time being.

Under current Home Office rules members of police authorities are allowed to claim £17 an hour in allowances - with the annual maximum set at £7,500 for members and £11,250 for the chairman.

Although the authorities will have the freedom to set their own allowance levels from December 1, Cleveland Police Authority has decided that, for the time being, it will stick with levels as they are at present.

Chairman Councillor Ken Walker said: "We have taken the view that the responsible and sensible approach would be to avoid making any changes in the system in the middle of the financial year and to review matters when we consider our overall budget for the coming year.