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Saturday, 23 August 2014

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HAVE YOUR SAY: Council leader’s allowance rise sends ‘wrong message’

A decision to increase Allerdale council leader Alan Smith’s allowance by £6,000 a year has been described as “insensitive” for “sending out the wrong message” by a group of councillors.

At an Allerdale council meeting last Wednesday, the full council approved recommendations from an independent panel of members of the public for Councillor Smith’s allowance to go up from £15,299 to £21,000.

An amendment was proposed by Conservative councillor Tim Heslop, who wanted Coun Smith’s allowance to stay the same, but the motion was lost.

Despite the full council’s approval of the increase, 11 independent Allerdale councillors have written a letter to today’s Times & Star to criticise the move.

The group referred to the council’s decision to have a 2.9 per cent council tax increase rather than acceptance of central government’s offer of 2.5 per cent from national taxation.

They said that the 2.9 per cent increase would bring in about £18,316.

The group added: “Almost £6,000 of the extra tax has now been lined up to give council leader Alan Smith a hefty 37 per cent annual pay rise from last year’s claimed allowance for leader of £15,299 to £21,000 – just as he is cutting the jobs of council employees while those still in work have to accept no pay increase for a third year.”

A spokesman for the group said: “It just seems to send out the wrong message.

“When everyone is tightening their belts and cuts are being made, it seems a bit insensitive for a person to take an extra £6,000.

“The point that Labour were making on Wednesday was that he was putting a lot of time in and deserved an extra allowance.

“They said that £21,000 was not a lot of money for someone of that responsibility.”

A spokeswoman for Allerdale council said: “Councillors allowances for 2012-13 were agreed by the full council on March 7 following a recommendation from an independent panel of members of the public. The minutes can be viewed at www.allerdale.gov.uk.”

Have your say

Concerned - your totally wrong there is no pension package associated with being a councillor.

I look forward to all you keyboard warriers standing at the next elections. Put your money where your mouth is

Posted by Emma on 19 March 2012 at 16:54

being a small business owner, the importance of success should always be rewarded, however the timing of such rewards is important. this shows how out of touch this council is!

Posted by scott taylor on 18 March 2012 at 18:08

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