Mayor quits over allowances rise

Salisbury Journal: Tidworth Mayor Chris Franklin Tidworth Mayor Chris Franklin

A MAYOR is to quit the Conservative party after accusing senior Wiltshire councillors of feathering their own nests, while a petition calling for the resignation of the Cabinet approaches 2,000 signatures.

Christopher Franklin, the Mayor of Tidworth, has written to Devizes MP Claire Perry to tell her he will not be renewing his Conservative party membership because he is so disgusted with Wiltshire Council Cabinet members awarding themselves big increases in allowances.

He said the move was insensitive to the hundreds of council employees who have been made redundant.

Council leader Jane Scott’s £15,000 per year increase in allowances was more than some people earn in a year, he said.

The increase brings Cllr Scott’s total allowances to more than £52,000 per year, which covers her positions as council leader and chairman of the health and wellbeing board.

Other Cabinet members were voted increases of at least 22 per cent, from £15,101 to £18,433 a year.

Cllr Scott has declined to answer her critics personally, preferring to rely on a statement issued by the council.

Cllr Franklin said: “You have Conservative Wiltshire councillors who have taken the mickey and give the impression of being out for themselves when, as a public body, you sometimes have to make sacrifices yourself to meet the needs of others – not feather your own nest.

“That’s what they have done.

They have feathered their own nest.”

He said Wiltshire Council had done well to save several millions from its budget, but was now spoiling it by spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on increased allowances.

The decision to increase allowances last month came only weeks after 252 council staff were made redundant, and as all council employees faced a one per cent pay freeze. The Wiltshire Council statement said it was not appropriate for Cllr Scott to comment.

It said: “This was a decision made by full council and will impact on every Wiltshire councillor, regardless of their political party.

“Allowances are allocated to the posts and not the councillors who currently hold those positions.

“A councillor can choose to accept or not accept the increase in allowance.”

A Conservative party member for two years, Cllr Franklin has been involved in local politics since 1996 and has been Mayor of Tidworth three times.

He said the whole affair made people doubt the sincerity of councillors, but he declined to join calls for Cllr Scott and her Cabinet to resign. Instead, they should turn down the increases and apologise, he said.

Lionel Grundy, chairman of Devizes Conservative Association, said it would be regrettable if Cllr Franklin decided to quit the party over the allowances issue, over which the local association had no say. He added: “I will be sorry if he decides to go.”

More than 1,900 people have signed a petition calling for Cllr Scott and her Cabinet to resign over the increases in allowances.

Paul Gaunt, a business consultant from Broughton Gifford, set up the online petition and has been shocked by the response.

He said: “The emails I am getting are saying they agree something needs to happen, and this is a step too far in these current austere times.”

Mr Gaunt’s petition can be found at wehavesolutions.co.uk.

Comments (17)

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7:09pm Thu 5 Dec 13

Schoolmum999 says...

Wow! I am impressed by Mr Franklin's comments, but it's a shame that he wouldn't support the call for Cllr Scott's resignation.
Wow! I am impressed by Mr Franklin's comments, but it's a shame that he wouldn't support the call for Cllr Scott's resignation. Schoolmum999

7:48pm Thu 5 Dec 13

Lady Tinky Winky says...

Good for you Christopher. Someone who wants to actually make a statement by his actions! Wish there were more like you!
Good for you Christopher. Someone who wants to actually make a statement by his actions! Wish there were more like you! Lady Tinky Winky

2:08pm Fri 6 Dec 13

brandx says...

Tidworth Mayor Christopher Franklin is not the only Tory to be disgusted with Jane Scott and her Trowbridge County Hall cronies, but he seems the only one to go fully public on the harm that these people aere doing to the Tory party. I hear that even Devizes MP Claire Perry has privately complained of the damage that these greedy politicians are doing. The ex Wiltshire Fire Chief, John Craig, has gone public saying that the Leader and Cabinet of Wiltshire display absolutely no understanding of the reality, or skill, of leadership. In truth what happened in Trowbridge is no different from the behaviour of the City bankers - feather your own nest and dump on the rest, including the ordinary council staff and hard pressed Wiltshire tax payers.

The thing that gets most people's back up is the way Jane and her cronies won't answer a whole series of questions that the Wiltshire media is asking daily. The longer she delays in responding to perfectly pertinent questions, the more she is perceivedn as arrogant and out of touch. Whoever is advising her is only making her public standing worse and ensuring that retribution when it comes will be damning.

Please sign the petition to hasten that day.
Tidworth Mayor Christopher Franklin is not the only Tory to be disgusted with Jane Scott and her Trowbridge County Hall cronies, but he seems the only one to go fully public on the harm that these people aere doing to the Tory party. I hear that even Devizes MP Claire Perry has privately complained of the damage that these greedy politicians are doing. The ex Wiltshire Fire Chief, John Craig, has gone public saying that the Leader and Cabinet of Wiltshire display absolutely no understanding of the reality, or skill, of leadership. In truth what happened in Trowbridge is no different from the behaviour of the City bankers - feather your own nest and dump on the rest, including the ordinary council staff and hard pressed Wiltshire tax payers. The thing that gets most people's back up is the way Jane and her cronies won't answer a whole series of questions that the Wiltshire media is asking daily. The longer she delays in responding to perfectly pertinent questions, the more she is perceivedn as arrogant and out of touch. Whoever is advising her is only making her public standing worse and ensuring that retribution when it comes will be damning. Please sign the petition to hasten that day. brandx

9:33am Sat 7 Dec 13

FreeBornJohn says...

Cllr Franklin has shown some moral fiber, good for him. This whole issue is seriously damaging the Conservatives in Wiltshire.

Its a massive vote loser.
Cllr Franklin has shown some moral fiber, good for him. This whole issue is seriously damaging the Conservatives in Wiltshire. Its a massive vote loser. FreeBornJohn

6:16pm Sat 7 Dec 13

nesspah says...

Well done Mr Mayor - stick to your decision.

I tend to agree with all the abuse that's been hurled :- Mrs Scott & her cronies are greedy, don't care, feathering their nest, callous and all that stuff. One can't help feeling there's some truth in it.

However what really concerns me is that the councillors who are incompetently handling all of this are the same ones that we're relying on to do the right thing for our children, our old people, the disadvantaged in Wiltshire.

I don't trust them.
Well done Mr Mayor - stick to your decision. I tend to agree with all the abuse that's been hurled :- Mrs Scott & her cronies are greedy, don't care, feathering their nest, callous and all that stuff. One can't help feeling there's some truth in it. However what really concerns me is that the councillors who are incompetently handling all of this are the same ones that we're relying on to do the right thing for our children, our old people, the disadvantaged in Wiltshire. I don't trust them. nesspah

7:58pm Sat 7 Dec 13

karlmarx says...

They voted to increase their pay and allowances? Shouldn't that vote have been given to persons totally independent of the council?
I suspect the result would have been different if that was the case. The result would have begun with the letter N and ended with the letter O.
They voted to increase their pay and allowances? Shouldn't that vote have been given to persons totally independent of the council? I suspect the result would have been different if that was the case. The result would have begun with the letter N and ended with the letter O. karlmarx

5:36am Sun 8 Dec 13

karlmarx says...

"Christopher Franklin, the Mayor of Tidworth, has written to Devizes MP Claire Perry to tell her he will not be renewing his Conservative party membership because he is so disgusted with Wiltshire Council Cabinet members awarding themselves big increases in allowances."

Dear Mr Franklin
You might want to consider writing to Devizes MP Claire Perry and, all the others, regarding their impending pay rise...


Outrage as MPs' pay goes up to £74k with bumper rise of £6,300

MPs are facing an outcry after it was announced they are in line for a pay hike to £74,000 while the rest of the country suffers austerity.

Unions immediately demanded matching 11% increases for their members, while a number of MPs broke cover to condemn Ipsa for opening them to public vitriol.

Under the shake-up, the current salary of £66,396 will rise to £74,000 in May 2015, at a cost of £4.6 million once extra national insurance contributions are taken into account

From then wages will rise annually in line with average UK earnings, a mechanism the regulator hopes will ensure the situation is resolved for the long term.

Ed Miliband has pledged to reverse the planned hike if he wins the next election.

yours Sincerely
Karl
"Christopher Franklin, the Mayor of Tidworth, has written to Devizes MP Claire Perry to tell her he will not be renewing his Conservative party membership because he is so disgusted with Wiltshire Council Cabinet members awarding themselves big increases in allowances." Dear Mr Franklin You might want to consider writing to Devizes MP Claire Perry and, all the others, regarding their impending pay rise... Outrage as MPs' pay goes up to £74k with bumper rise of £6,300 MPs are facing an outcry after it was announced they are in line for a pay hike to £74,000 while the rest of the country suffers austerity. Unions immediately demanded matching 11% increases for their members, while a number of MPs broke cover to condemn Ipsa for opening them to public vitriol. Under the shake-up, the current salary of £66,396 will rise to £74,000 in May 2015, at a cost of £4.6 million once extra national insurance contributions are taken into account From then wages will rise annually in line with average UK earnings, a mechanism the regulator hopes will ensure the situation is resolved for the long term. Ed Miliband has pledged to reverse the planned hike if he wins the next election. yours Sincerely Karl karlmarx

3:43pm Sun 8 Dec 13

brandx says...

Same old story. Those in charge feather their nests and the rest of us can suffer undeer austerity. Why do they have gall to say "We are all in this together"?

Given that none of the Wiltshire Tory MPs have public criticised Jane Scott and her Cabinet cronies for hiking up their allowances, it is unlikely that Glen, Murrison, Perry or Gray will be refusing their own increases. Meanwhile more foodbanks are openning.

Don't they realise that ordinary people are angry out there and there will come a day when that anger will be directed at them and and at Trowbridge. For now just get more people signing the petition.
Same old story. Those in charge feather their nests and the rest of us can suffer undeer austerity. Why do they have gall to say "We are all in this together"? Given that none of the Wiltshire Tory MPs have public criticised Jane Scott and her Cabinet cronies for hiking up their allowances, it is unlikely that Glen, Murrison, Perry or Gray will be refusing their own increases. Meanwhile more foodbanks are openning. Don't they realise that ordinary people are angry out there and there will come a day when that anger will be directed at them and and at Trowbridge. For now just get more people signing the petition. brandx

6:13pm Sun 8 Dec 13

aldonreaper says...

f*** you jack im ok comes to mind, its a common tory saying
f*** you jack im ok comes to mind, its a common tory saying aldonreaper

6:18pm Sun 8 Dec 13

ChrisTidworth says...

karlmarx wrote:
"Christopher Franklin, the Mayor of Tidworth, has written to Devizes MP Claire Perry to tell her he will not be renewing his Conservative party membership because he is so disgusted with Wiltshire Council Cabinet members awarding themselves big increases in allowances."

Dear Mr Franklin
You might want to consider writing to Devizes MP Claire Perry and, all the others, regarding their impending pay rise...


Outrage as MPs' pay goes up to £74k with bumper rise of £6,300

MPs are facing an outcry after it was announced they are in line for a pay hike to £74,000 while the rest of the country suffers austerity.

Unions immediately demanded matching 11% increases for their members, while a number of MPs broke cover to condemn Ipsa for opening them to public vitriol.

Under the shake-up, the current salary of £66,396 will rise to £74,000 in May 2015, at a cost of £4.6 million once extra national insurance contributions are taken into account

From then wages will rise annually in line with average UK earnings, a mechanism the regulator hopes will ensure the situation is resolved for the long term.

Ed Miliband has pledged to reverse the planned hike if he wins the next election.

yours Sincerely
Karl
Don't all MP's say one thing and do something else ??
[quote][p][bold]karlmarx[/bold] wrote: "Christopher Franklin, the Mayor of Tidworth, has written to Devizes MP Claire Perry to tell her he will not be renewing his Conservative party membership because he is so disgusted with Wiltshire Council Cabinet members awarding themselves big increases in allowances." Dear Mr Franklin You might want to consider writing to Devizes MP Claire Perry and, all the others, regarding their impending pay rise... Outrage as MPs' pay goes up to £74k with bumper rise of £6,300 MPs are facing an outcry after it was announced they are in line for a pay hike to £74,000 while the rest of the country suffers austerity. Unions immediately demanded matching 11% increases for their members, while a number of MPs broke cover to condemn Ipsa for opening them to public vitriol. Under the shake-up, the current salary of £66,396 will rise to £74,000 in May 2015, at a cost of £4.6 million once extra national insurance contributions are taken into account From then wages will rise annually in line with average UK earnings, a mechanism the regulator hopes will ensure the situation is resolved for the long term. Ed Miliband has pledged to reverse the planned hike if he wins the next election. yours Sincerely Karl[/p][/quote]Don't all MP's say one thing and do something else ?? ChrisTidworth

8:21pm Sun 8 Dec 13

Morello says...

Good for you Mr Franklin and keep up your campaign.

How dare these uncaring councillors act so selfishly. How can they face the staff when they go into the council offices ? They seem to have proved that they are unworthy to look after our interests.

We need a sort of Wiltshire UKIP that stands for quitting the unitary setup because these heartless self-interested people are clearly not for us. Now that they've stolen the bread out of the mouths of their own staff we can expect them to turn on us next.
Good for you Mr Franklin and keep up your campaign. How dare these uncaring councillors act so selfishly. How can they face the staff when they go into the council offices ? They seem to have proved that they are unworthy to look after our interests. We need a sort of Wiltshire UKIP that stands for quitting the unitary setup because these heartless self-interested people are clearly not for us. Now that they've stolen the bread out of the mouths of their own staff we can expect them to turn on us next. Morello

10:16pm Sun 8 Dec 13

karlmarx says...

On a similar note at national level this time...

MPs' pay: Politicians criticise 'inappropriate' 11% rise

Plans to award MPs an 11% pay rise have been criticised across Westminster, with one minister describing them as "utterly incomprehensible".
On a similar note at national level this time... MPs' pay: Politicians criticise 'inappropriate' 11% rise Plans to award MPs an 11% pay rise have been criticised across Westminster, with one minister describing them as "utterly incomprehensible". karlmarx

8:32pm Mon 9 Dec 13

karlmarx says...

Of course, if you are content to accept your £6,300 pay rise while the weak and vulnerable endure a 1% pay rise every three years (if they are lucky) then at least have the decency to admit it....


"polls suggest that 449 MPs back a pay rise (69% in Ipsa anonymous survey). And yet only 3 have had the guts to say so today..."

And that just about sums up the attitude of the elected bullies who take pride in their assault upon the weak and vulnerable in our society.
Of course, if you are content to accept your £6,300 pay rise while the weak and vulnerable endure a 1% pay rise every three years (if they are lucky) then at least have the decency to admit it.... "polls suggest that 449 MPs back a pay rise (69% in Ipsa anonymous survey). And yet only 3 have had the guts to say so today..." And that just about sums up the attitude of the elected bullies who take pride in their assault upon the weak and vulnerable in our society. karlmarx

11:48pm Mon 9 Dec 13

karlmarx says...

Holyrood plans to snub 11% pay rise

The Scottish Parliament's presiding officer has recommended cutting the formal link between MSPs' and MPs' pay.

The move is designed to avoid MSPs being given the same 11% wage rise as their Westminster counterparts.

The salary of MSPs has been linked to that of MPs since 2002, with politicians at Holyrood paid 87.5% of an MP's wage.

Recommendations due to be made later this week would raise an MP's pay by £7,600 to a basic salary of £74,000.

If no action was taken, that 11% rise would also apply at Holyrood.

But Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick said the prospect of a significant pay rise was "unthinkable" at a time when many members of the public were struggling to make ends meet.

How refreshingly nice to see people who were voted into positions of responsibility, being responsible. It restores your faith in humanity, shame about south of the border though.
Holyrood plans to snub 11% pay rise The Scottish Parliament's presiding officer has recommended cutting the formal link between MSPs' and MPs' pay. The move is designed to avoid MSPs being given the same 11% wage rise as their Westminster counterparts. The salary of MSPs has been linked to that of MPs since 2002, with politicians at Holyrood paid 87.5% of an MP's wage. Recommendations due to be made later this week would raise an MP's pay by £7,600 to a basic salary of £74,000. If no action was taken, that 11% rise would also apply at Holyrood. But Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick said the prospect of a significant pay rise was "unthinkable" at a time when many members of the public were struggling to make ends meet. How refreshingly nice to see people who were voted into positions of responsibility, being responsible. It restores your faith in humanity, shame about south of the border though. karlmarx

11:57pm Mon 9 Dec 13

karlmarx says...

'Those who have the privilage to know, have a duty to act.' - Albert Einstein
'Those who have the privilage to know, have a duty to act.' - Albert Einstein karlmarx

10:27am Wed 11 Dec 13

Richard Clewer says...

Karl, the recommendations on Councillors allowances came from an independent commission. We have followed their recommendations exactly.

I find the suggest that Councillors are feathering our nests rather strange.

The basic rate increased by 1% to £12,289 per year. The special responsibilty allowances increased by more, I now get £6,912 as Porftolio holder for housing. A total of £19,201 per year. I put in an average of aprox 55 hours a week on Council work (it is well over the equivalent of a full time job and I could not do it without my wifes support at our business). That is a total of £6.71 an hour, well below the living wage that many of the contributors above are so keen on. I think we have got to make sure that anyone who is interested and committed can stand for election as a Councillor, not just the retired or independently wealthy. To do that the job has to pay enough to make it viable for someone with a young family to take on, I am not sure it is quite there yet mysefl.
Karl, the recommendations on Councillors allowances came from an independent commission. We have followed their recommendations exactly. I find the suggest that Councillors are feathering our nests rather strange. The basic rate increased by 1% to £12,289 per year. The special responsibilty allowances increased by more, I now get £6,912 as Porftolio holder for housing. A total of £19,201 per year. I put in an average of aprox 55 hours a week on Council work (it is well over the equivalent of a full time job and I could not do it without my wifes support at our business). That is a total of £6.71 an hour, well below the living wage that many of the contributors above are so keen on. I think we have got to make sure that anyone who is interested and committed can stand for election as a Councillor, not just the retired or independently wealthy. To do that the job has to pay enough to make it viable for someone with a young family to take on, I am not sure it is quite there yet mysefl. Richard Clewer

3:15pm Wed 11 Dec 13

brandx says...

There is something of a contradiction in Councillor Richard Clewer's response. The increase for any new councillor is just 1%, the same that the ordinary staff received. I don't think many people are going to quibble over that.

But the big increases - up to 36% - go to Leader Jane Scott and her magic circle. Such rises cannot be justified, especially when most of are being hit by cutbacks plus hikes in our bills. For Jane Scott and cronies to accept their large rise now was totally bad timing. Her public relations advice must be appalling. Didn't she stop to think how it would out there with the public.

Please encourage more people to sign Paul Gaunt's petition and prepare to descend on County Hall, Trowbridge.
There is something of a contradiction in Councillor Richard Clewer's response. The increase for any new councillor is just 1%, the same that the ordinary staff received. I don't think many people are going to quibble over that. But the big increases - up to 36% - go to Leader Jane Scott and her magic circle. Such rises cannot be justified, especially when most of are being hit by cutbacks plus hikes in our bills. For Jane Scott and cronies to accept their large rise now was totally bad timing. Her public relations advice must be appalling. Didn't she stop to think how it would out there with the public. Please encourage more people to sign Paul Gaunt's petition and prepare to descend on County Hall, Trowbridge. brandx

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