Move to foil councillors' allowance increases is defeated

A MOVE to foil increases in Wiltshire councillors’ allowances of up to 40 per cent has been defeated by Conservative and Liberal Democrat members.

The vote means all councillors are entitled to a one per cent rise, Cabinet members are entitled to 22 per cent, while Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott Scott’s entitlements rise by nearly 40 per cent a year from £37,335 to £52,227.

However, Cllr Scott has declined the increases, which included £9,216 for chairing a new health and wellbeing board, saying the allowances controversy has been too distracting.

The rules have also been changed to allow chairmen of two committees to collect the full allowances for each.

A total of 60 members voted against the Independents’ motion to scrap the increases and six abstained, while 24 voted in favour.

After the meeting, Labour councillor Ricky Rogers, from Salisbury, who voted for the motion, said: “I share the public outrage on this issue. The cabinet members should not be taking this huge increase in one go when people are struggling with bills. They should have been phased in over a number of years.”

Cllr Rogers said he will only be taking the recommended one per cent increase in his basic allowance of £12,167 and a one per cent increase in his existing £5,034 allowance as chairman of the Salisbury Area Board. This had been set to go up to £6,912.

Cllr Richard Clewer, the portfolio holder for housing, who represents the St Paul’s Ward in Salisbury, said he believed the increases had to go ahead. His allowances will increase from £17,830 to £19,201.

He said: “I work about 55 hours a week on council business, so this brings it up to more than the minimum wage. I understand the concerns people have, but we don’t want councillors to be drawn solely from the retired or the independently wealthy.”

The Independent councillors Terry Chivers and Jeff Osborn, who proposed the motion that the increases be scrapped, have vowed to fight on. Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Jon Hubbard said he was siding with the Tories even though he voted against the increases last November, but abstained from the final vote.

It was necessary to make the job attractive to younger people, he said.

Cllr Chris Devine, Conservative said: “I voted for the increase and I will vote for it again. I am proud of this council. “We are worth it and we do a very good job.”

The council also received a 2,673 signature anti-increases petition from taxpayer Paul Gaunt.

Comments (9)

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7:38am Thu 6 Feb 14

karlmarx says...

All those suffering under austerity measures, please remember this at the next election. We shall be reminding people in the run up to the election in case they forget, which seems highly unlikely.
All those suffering under austerity measures, please remember this at the next election. We shall be reminding people in the run up to the election in case they forget, which seems highly unlikely. karlmarx
  • Score: 7

7:41am Thu 6 Feb 14

karlmarx says...

Well done councillor Rogers, it's rare these days to have your faith in humanity restored by someone, thank you.
Well done councillor Rogers, it's rare these days to have your faith in humanity restored by someone, thank you. karlmarx
  • Score: 5

10:21am Thu 6 Feb 14

gingin says...

The result was as expected!

One problem is some Councillors seem to think they are doing a JOB and being a Councillor is not a job and doesn't have the same benefits. Many work long hours when required and should be praised for doing that however they knew the conditions when standing for election.

There is a need for younger people to stand for election as a Councillor but they need to understand the conditions and what that may mean.

Well done Ricky as always on the side of fairness!
The result was as expected! One problem is some Councillors seem to think they are doing a JOB and being a Councillor is not a job and doesn't have the same benefits. Many work long hours when required and should be praised for doing that however they knew the conditions when standing for election. There is a need for younger people to stand for election as a Councillor but they need to understand the conditions and what that may mean. Well done Ricky as always on the side of fairness! gingin
  • Score: 6

1:32pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Friend of the People says...

I attended this meeting - I guess we anticipated that the Tories would vote to keep their snouts in the trough, but I was surprised that a fair number of Lib Dems did so too. Especially their Leader John Hubbard. So the vote to reverse the increases was lost.

But what really did surprise me was the boorish behaviour of a large section of the Tory councillors. Not only did they attack and jeer the petition speakers - who were simply exercising their democratic rights and did so with dignity - but they were also very rude to a lady speaker from CPRE who was campaidning against the Swindon overspill encroaching on Bassett. It was outright disgusting behaviour. I might be putting a complaint to Wiltshire Council, she certainly should.

I thought is this, what we tax payers, pay allowances for - for arrogant councillors to insult the public.
I attended this meeting - I guess we anticipated that the Tories would vote to keep their snouts in the trough, but I was surprised that a fair number of Lib Dems did so too. Especially their Leader John Hubbard. So the vote to reverse the increases was lost. But what really did surprise me was the boorish behaviour of a large section of the Tory councillors. Not only did they attack and jeer the petition speakers - who were simply exercising their democratic rights and did so with dignity - but they were also very rude to a lady speaker from CPRE who was campaidning against the Swindon overspill encroaching on Bassett. It was outright disgusting behaviour. I might be putting a complaint to Wiltshire Council, she certainly should. I thought is this, what we tax payers, pay allowances for - for arrogant councillors to insult the public. Friend of the People
  • Score: 12

1:55pm Thu 6 Feb 14

karlmarx says...

Friend of the People wrote:
I attended this meeting - I guess we anticipated that the Tories would vote to keep their snouts in the trough, but I was surprised that a fair number of Lib Dems did so too. Especially their Leader John Hubbard. So the vote to reverse the increases was lost.

But what really did surprise me was the boorish behaviour of a large section of the Tory councillors. Not only did they attack and jeer the petition speakers - who were simply exercising their democratic rights and did so with dignity - but they were also very rude to a lady speaker from CPRE who was campaidning against the Swindon overspill encroaching on Bassett. It was outright disgusting behaviour. I might be putting a complaint to Wiltshire Council, she certainly should.

I thought is this, what we tax payers, pay allowances for - for arrogant councillors to insult the public.
Well it seems as if this vulgar display of utter contempt for the electorate just about sums up the attitude of the Conservative Wiltshire council. They will no doubt fail to mention this when campaigning begins for the next election. However, I feel that such a total disregard of the democratic right of people to have their views heard should be an issue that the electorate need to be aware of prior to them voting. They will be reminded.
[quote][p][bold]Friend of the People[/bold] wrote: I attended this meeting - I guess we anticipated that the Tories would vote to keep their snouts in the trough, but I was surprised that a fair number of Lib Dems did so too. Especially their Leader John Hubbard. So the vote to reverse the increases was lost. But what really did surprise me was the boorish behaviour of a large section of the Tory councillors. Not only did they attack and jeer the petition speakers - who were simply exercising their democratic rights and did so with dignity - but they were also very rude to a lady speaker from CPRE who was campaidning against the Swindon overspill encroaching on Bassett. It was outright disgusting behaviour. I might be putting a complaint to Wiltshire Council, she certainly should. I thought is this, what we tax payers, pay allowances for - for arrogant councillors to insult the public.[/p][/quote]Well it seems as if this vulgar display of utter contempt for the electorate just about sums up the attitude of the Conservative Wiltshire council. They will no doubt fail to mention this when campaigning begins for the next election. However, I feel that such a total disregard of the democratic right of people to have their views heard should be an issue that the electorate need to be aware of prior to them voting. They will be reminded. karlmarx
  • Score: 9

4:08pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Grampie says...

A nice increase of £1,371 in expenses for some.

Meanwhile some people are having to fork out to pay to stay in their own homes because of the bedroom tax.

How much did your councillor claim in 2011-2012? https://cms.wiltshir
e.gov.uk/documents/s
48901/Members%20Allo
wances%20for%20the%2
0Council%20Year%2020
11-2012.pdf

The basic for all councillors was £11,403.00 15 received over £20,000. 12 of those 15 are still councillors and with one exception, belong to the same party.

Some work very hard by the way and it takes up their time, but when it comes to serving the community, voting for big increases for yourselves is hardly honourable.
A nice increase of £1,371 in expenses for some. Meanwhile some people are having to fork out to pay to stay in their own homes because of the bedroom tax. How much did your councillor claim in 2011-2012? https://cms.wiltshir e.gov.uk/documents/s 48901/Members%20Allo wances%20for%20the%2 0Council%20Year%2020 11-2012.pdf The basic for all councillors was £11,403.00 15 received over £20,000. 12 of those 15 are still councillors and with one exception, belong to the same party. Some work very hard by the way and it takes up their time, but when it comes to serving the community, voting for big increases for yourselves is hardly honourable. Grampie
  • Score: 3

6:22pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Schoolmum999 says...

Dear Salisbury Residents, I am very sorry. I am very sorry for voting Conservative at the last County Council elections. I never imagined that they would ignore those who elected them and award themselves MASSIVE increases in their expenses whilst simultaneously ruining the city we all love. I promise never to make the same mistake. Please forgive me.
Dear Salisbury Residents, I am very sorry. I am very sorry for voting Conservative at the last County Council elections. I never imagined that they would ignore those who elected them and award themselves MASSIVE increases in their expenses whilst simultaneously ruining the city we all love. I promise never to make the same mistake. Please forgive me. Schoolmum999
  • Score: 10

5:52am Fri 7 Feb 14

karlmarx says...

Plea note that these are expenses so any comparison to 'minimum wages' is a smokescreen. The minimum wage is just as it says, a wage someone has to live on. Expenses are not a wage and, no one has to live on merely expenses alone. There isn't a 'minimum expenses' amount.
Plea note that these are expenses so any comparison to 'minimum wages' is a smokescreen. The minimum wage is just as it says, a wage someone has to live on. Expenses are not a wage and, no one has to live on merely expenses alone. There isn't a 'minimum expenses' amount. karlmarx
  • Score: 1

10:18am Fri 7 Feb 14

gingin says...

Schoolmum999 wrote:
Dear Salisbury Residents, I am very sorry. I am very sorry for voting Conservative at the last County Council elections. I never imagined that they would ignore those who elected them and award themselves MASSIVE increases in their expenses whilst simultaneously ruining the city we all love. I promise never to make the same mistake. Please forgive me.
No need to say sorry you did what you thought was right at the time! Nobody thought this allowance fiasco would happen.
[quote][p][bold]Schoolmum999[/bold] wrote: Dear Salisbury Residents, I am very sorry. I am very sorry for voting Conservative at the last County Council elections. I never imagined that they would ignore those who elected them and award themselves MASSIVE increases in their expenses whilst simultaneously ruining the city we all love. I promise never to make the same mistake. Please forgive me.[/p][/quote]No need to say sorry you did what you thought was right at the time! Nobody thought this allowance fiasco would happen. gingin
  • Score: 7

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