Councillors refuse pay rise

By Harriet Ernstsons Thursday 13 February 2014 Updated: 13/02 12:40

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COUNCILLORS have turned down recommendations which would have seen an extra £55,300 spent on their wages each year.

The independent remuneration panel, which suggests how much Redditch Borough councillors should be paid, concluded the basic allowance should rise from £3,350 to £4,200 in 2014/15.

Other recommendations included increasing the wages of the leader from £8,257 - on top of the basic allowance - to £12,600, portfolio holders from £1,560 to £6,300 each and the chair of overview and scrutiny from £2,009 to £6,300.

But the proposed rises were rejected at an executive committee meeting on Tuesday (February 11), with Coun Phil Mould saying it would be 'totally wrong' to vote for an increase in light of the current financial climate and the reductions to the authority's budget.

However councillors raised concerns continuing to refuse increases could lead to fewer candidates being able to take on the role, with an echoing of calls from previous years levels should be set by central Government not by councils themselves.

Coun Mark Shurmer said there was a 'definite gap' between what people thought councillors got paid and what they actually received, with the level comparable to that of job seekers' benefits.

Coun Greg Chance added: "There is no way councillors can vote up their own wages. Although at some point we get to a point where you have to have reasonable recompense for what people do.

"Eventually it will end up the only people who can be on the council are those who can afford to sponsor themselves to be on the council which could be a democratic deficit."

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