Councillors Set For Pay Increase
COUNCILLORS are set to get a pay increase this year. Liberal Democrats are the main beneficiaries – their spokespeople previously were given no extra cash for sitting on committees, but will now get £265, backdated to January 1. An independent report in
COUNCILLORS are set to get a pay increase this year.
Liberal Democrats are the main beneficiaries - their spokespeople previously were given no extra cash for sitting on committees, but will now get £265, backdated to January 1.
An independent report into members' pay, carried out last year, suggested that the allowances "should reflect the increasing responsibilities and commitment expected of councillors, their professional conduct and depth of knowledge."
The council will spend more than £6.4million on its employees this financial year, of which members' allowances is £180,370. Salaries make up just over £6million.
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"The basic logic was that the spokesperson would be recognised - in some cases they have to do a monitoring job that is quite significant," said Cllr Gareth Wilson, opposition spokesperson on the council's policy and resources committee.
Under the leadership of Conservative Brian Ashton, the spokesperson's allowance was reset at zero.
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"It's not the money, it's the recognition that we all play a part in helping to run the council," Cllr Wilson claimed. "I think it has fostered a much better attitude."
Councillors will discuss the report's recommendations at a meeting of the Policy and Resources committee on Tuesday, but the independent review panel's findings are likely to be given the go-ahead.
Leader of the district council, Fred Brown, said: "The role of a district councillor is not one which anyone takes lightly; it requires a huge amount of time and commitment to properly fulfil the duties of the position. It is a highly pressurised job as members make crucial decisions on the vital services which affect the lives of thousands of people. Councillors also have the responsibility of overseeing multi million pound budgets to ensure the authority continues to meet the needs of its residents.
"No one seeks public office for financial reward; they become councillors to improve the area and the place they represent. The rise in the members' allowances is a tiny amount.
"This increase was proposed following an independent review of the current members allowance by an organisation with no links to the council. We believe this increase for all political parties represents real value for money for the time and effort that Councillors put in. We also hope it will encourage other members of the public to come forward in the future to become members of the council."
nMP for North East Cambridgeshire, Malcolm Moss, is to declare all his expenses for the past three years in an effort to make the process more transparent. Following a complaint by Mr Moss, cabinet husband-and-wife team Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper have been under formal scrutiny regarding claiming of allowances for their London home.