Coun­cil­lors vote to give them­selves raise in ba­sic al­lowance

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS -

COTSWOLD coun­cil­lors have voted to give them­selves an 11 per cent pay rise with their ba­sic al­lowance in­creas­ing by £1,000.

The rise was agreed at Tues­day’s full coun­cil meet­ing at Cotswold Dis­trict Coun­cil’s head­quar­ters in Cirences­ter.

Dis­trict coun­cil­lors on the au­thor­ity have not re­ceived a pay rise since April 2008, and will re­ceive a to­tal £5,000 per an­num.

The de­ci­sion, rec­om­mended by an in­de­pen­dent panel, was backed by the new ad­min­is­tra­tion, the Lib­eral Democrats.

A coun­cil of­fi­cer said although the pay had not in­creased for 11 years, “the work­load had risen for coun­cil­lors”.

The in­de­pen­dent re­mu­ner­a­tion panel also rec­om­mended that pay is in­creased an­nu­ally in line with an agreed mea­sure.

Speak­ing in the meet­ing, coun­cil­lor Mark Har­ris (LD, Abbey) said: “Most of us thought it po­lit­i­cally wasn’t a good idea, but there are enough politi­cians not mak­ing tough de­ci­sion­sin this coun­try.”

Re­act­ing to this, Con­ser­va­tive coun­cil­lor Ray Theodoulou (Coln Val­ley) said: “To hide be­hind the skirts of an in­de­pen­dent com­mit­tee is de­spi­ca­ble. Blame some­one else, that is usu­ally the way.”

A recorded vote re­sulted in the pay rise be­ing passed by a ma­jor­ity of six.

Coun­cil leader Joe Har­ris (LD, St Michaels) said af­ter the meet­ing: “The rea­son we had it to­day was be­cause the pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion al­lo­cated it for the first meet­ing af­ter the elec­tion. Po­lit­i­cally in­con­ve­nient but it is a de­ci­sion that had to be made.”

Op­po­si­tion leader Tony Berry said: “As Con­ser­va­tives we be­lieve that this was more than re­quired, and voted against it.

“The fact that this is the very first thing to come for­ward leads me to worry about a num­ber of other things the Lib­eral Democrats have in their man­i­festo.”

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