Councillors refuse to rule out pay rises

COUNCILLORS in Suffolk have thrown out “for the time being” proposals to give themselves a 29% pay rise, and have settled for an inflation only increase in the spring.

By Graham Dines

COUNCILLORS in Suffolk have thrown out “for the time being” proposals to give themselves a 29% pay rise, and have settled for an inflation only increase in the spring.

The county council will vote next July on a report from an independent panel which would hike the basic annual allowance for its 75 members from the current £7,002 to £9,000.

Under the plans recommended by the three person panel chaired by former council chairman Dr Alan Lower - who no longer serves on the authority - leader Jeremy Pembroke would receive a total of £31,500, a Cabinet member £22,500, and Labour opposition leader Bryony Rudkin and Liberal Democrat leader Kathy Pollard £20,250.


You may also want to watch:


But by 40 votes to 0, with the 26 Labour and Lib Dem councillors abstaining, the council agreed not to implement the report but to review the situation in six months times after the budget setting process had ended, awarding an interim increase in line with the retail price index of next April.

This means Mr Pembroke's allowances remain at £23,322, those for a Cabinet member £14,586, Mrs Rudkin £15,168, and Mrs Pollard the basic £7,002.

Most Read

Jane Storey, the portfolio holder for resources and finance, said the council faced tough choices as a result of the Government's meagre financial settlement for the authority. “The public would not condone us giving ourselves a 29% rise and neither would the staff who are having to work on departmental cutbacks.”

Labour's deputy leader Julian Swainson criticised the Tories for delaying the report to a time when it got caught up in the annual council tax debates.

He said it was a “lousy principle” to expect councillors to have to vote on what allowances they should receive. “The Government should set the level for different classes and sizes of authorities - we should not be going through this self-humbling exercise every year or so.”

Editorial comment - Page 24

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter