Backtrack on councillors inflation busting pay rise?

First published in Truro
Last updated

Cornwall councillors could be about to backtrack on a self-given inflation busting allowance rise.

In October councillors voted to increase the amount of cash they get for being a councillor by £2,472, from £12,128 to £14,600, however moves are now afoot to reverse this decision.

As the vote next Tuesday involves overturning a decision, the signatures of 20 councillors were needed to get it onto the agenda.

Of these some were absent from the previous vote, one abstained, and four voted for the allowance rise, but have changed their position.

The Conservative minister in charge of local government had blasted Cornwall councillors saying they “will find it very difficult” to meet the eyes of the electorate if they go ahead with their planned pay rise this year.

Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles advised councillors to invest in “the darkest sunglasses they can possibly get” before they next face voters.

The bump in councillors’ pay packets, was described back in October as a move to attract “new, young” councillors by cabinet member for sustainability John Pollard.

It will come into effect after the elections this May and aims to benefit a new cohort of councillors.

What do you think, should councillors reverse the decision to award themselves a huge allowance rise, or is the extra money needed to attract a wider range of candidates.

Have your say below.

Related links:

Cornwall councillors vote themselves a hefty 20% pay rise

Cornwall Councillors to vote on whether to give themselves bumper 35% pay rise

Allowance hike Cornwall councillors need 'darkest sunglasses' to avoid voters' eyes

Comments (8)

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9:25am Tue 5 Feb 13

StAustellAdam says...

Whilst a pay rise is always welcome I feel that this would be counter productive in the current economic climate. Whilst I'm not able to vote either way I do hope that the decision is reversed before May so that I can be upfront with residents when out doorstepping.
Whilst a pay rise is always welcome I feel that this would be counter productive in the current economic climate. Whilst I'm not able to vote either way I do hope that the decision is reversed before May so that I can be upfront with residents when out doorstepping. StAustellAdam
  • Score: 0

10:53am Tue 5 Feb 13

Poldark says...

At last commonsense prevails,, how on earth can you canvass and to quote Mr Pickles words' look people in the eye' when you have voted in this huge rise?
Most people have struggled to pay their bills these last four years with out a pay rise or just a 1% rise to keep the wolf from the door.

I shall certainly be asking future and present councillors how they voted and how they would vote in the future.
,
At last commonsense prevails,, how on earth can you canvass and to quote Mr Pickles words' look people in the eye' when you have voted in this huge rise? Most people have struggled to pay their bills these last four years with out a pay rise or just a 1% rise to keep the wolf from the door. I shall certainly be asking future and present councillors how they voted and how they would vote in the future. , Poldark
  • Score: 0

11:29am Tue 5 Feb 13

Gill Zella Martin 09 says...

I would thought that given the current controversy over the allowance increase, it would now be better to revoke the vote and re-vote after the next election.
I would thought that given the current controversy over the allowance increase, it would now be better to revoke the vote and re-vote after the next election. Gill Zella Martin 09
  • Score: 0

11:42am Tue 5 Feb 13

Gill Zella Martin 09 says...

Whilst the current emphasis is on the basic allowance increase, there is additionally food allowance, special responsibilities allowances etc, a councillor may have voted in favour or against the rise in the basic allowance but who knows what each individual Councillors views are on all other expenses claims. Then of course there are their views on council tax rises and of course what their policies are regarding local issues, oh dear, the list appears endless, and there was me, hoping for the perfect Councillor that ticked all the boxes.
Whilst the current emphasis is on the basic allowance increase, there is additionally food allowance, special responsibilities allowances etc, a councillor may have voted in favour or against the rise in the basic allowance but who knows what each individual Councillors views are on all other expenses claims. Then of course there are their views on council tax rises and of course what their policies are regarding local issues, oh dear, the list appears endless, and there was me, hoping for the perfect Councillor that ticked all the boxes. Gill Zella Martin 09
  • Score: 0

8:16pm Wed 6 Feb 13

Gill Zella Martin 09 says...

In the mean time, while Mr and Mrs recently arrived knock out kids wholesale, when they decided Cornwall was a nicer place to live with more sunshine, but are probably only sunning themselves under the lighting in the local supermarket, what actually are the local MPs doing about the lack of government funding for Cornwall Council ? and it's knock effect with council tax increases. How about scrutinising what we get for our money with local MPs. It is all very well some people trying to blame Cornwall Councillors for virtually everything but It would appear to me that it is Cornwall Council that are additionally contemplating challenging the government about the lack of funding, so what exactly are the MPs doing?
In the mean time, while Mr and Mrs recently arrived knock out kids wholesale, when they decided Cornwall was a nicer place to live with more sunshine, but are probably only sunning themselves under the lighting in the local supermarket, what actually are the local MPs doing about the lack of government funding for Cornwall Council ? and it's knock effect with council tax increases. How about scrutinising what we get for our money with local MPs. It is all very well some people trying to blame Cornwall Councillors for virtually everything but It would appear to me that it is Cornwall Council that are additionally contemplating challenging the government about the lack of funding, so what exactly are the MPs doing? Gill Zella Martin 09
  • Score: 0

3:11pm Fri 8 Feb 13

molesworth says...

I still think county councillors are ridiculously underpaid considering the power and responsibility they are entrusted with. They earn less than my gardener!!!
If we offered to pay them a bit more money we may get better, more informed people putting themselves forward as councillors. It's pretty much volunteer work at the moment.
I still think county councillors are ridiculously underpaid considering the power and responsibility they are entrusted with. They earn less than my gardener!!! If we offered to pay them a bit more money we may get better, more informed people putting themselves forward as councillors. It's pretty much volunteer work at the moment. molesworth
  • Score: 0

3:44pm Fri 8 Feb 13

StAustellAdam says...

Couldn't agree more ... there is a lot of responsibility and many members of the public needing help with things. But that needs to be balanced with the current economic climate so I feel that a rise this year would be a mistake.
Couldn't agree more ... there is a lot of responsibility and many members of the public needing help with things. But that needs to be balanced with the current economic climate so I feel that a rise this year would be a mistake. StAustellAdam
  • Score: 0

4:59pm Fri 8 Feb 13

Gill Zella Martin 09 says...

The legislative status that is currently in place allowing Councillors to vote for or against their own increase in allowances is what needs to be changed. If the decision was taken away from the Councillors themselves and made by a separate entity then it would more than likely eliminate a lot of the controversy surrounding allowances.
I personally have made it no secret that I was in favour of a rise in allowances for Councillors so that it opened the position to a cross selection of society that may not otherwise be able to sustain the financial implications of being a councillor, however, I now think the vote should be revoked and deferred until after the election.
The legislative status that is currently in place allowing Councillors to vote for or against their own increase in allowances is what needs to be changed. If the decision was taken away from the Councillors themselves and made by a separate entity then it would more than likely eliminate a lot of the controversy surrounding allowances. I personally have made it no secret that I was in favour of a rise in allowances for Councillors so that it opened the position to a cross selection of society that may not otherwise be able to sustain the financial implications of being a councillor, however, I now think the vote should be revoked and deferred until after the election. Gill Zella Martin 09
  • Score: 0

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