Meeting over councillors' allowances

First published in News by

HUGE increases in senior Wiltshire councillors’ allowances could be slashed at a special meeting on February 4.

The meeting has been called after a group of ten opposition members formally requested a debate on the big increases for the Leader and Cabinet of the Conservative administration, which were voted through in November. Two of the ten members have also tabled a motion recommending the decision to increase allowances be reversed.

Their moves follow the controversy about the increase in Cabinet members’ allowances, which were boosted by at least 22 per cent, with council leader Cllr Jane Scott pocketing an increase of 37 per cent – taking her total allowances to £52,227. Councillors’ basic allowances went up by one per cent to £12,289 a year.

The increases followed recommendations from an Independent Remuneration Panel and were backdated to May.

Cllr Jeff Osborn, an Independent councillor who asked for the special meeting and submitted the notice of motion, said it was good news that it would go ahead after the previous “fiasco” when the meeting had been scheduled for Christmas Eve and was then cancelled.

Cllr Osborn said: “Our action was in response to considerable urging from all sections of the county population, including many long-standing Conservatives.”

He said the “grabbing behaviour” of Conservatives had brought county politics to a historic low and he hoped there would be no increases for at least a year.

In a statement last month, Cllr Scott said the increases had been justified and allowances at Wiltshire had got out of step with levels of responsibility. She said: “We are working in a more efficient way, but that does put an awful lot of pressure on all of us, both members and officers in the organisation, to deliver.”

During the summer, the council ran a voluntary redundancy programme in which 252 frontline staff left the organisation.

Seven of the council’s 18 associate directors took voluntary redundancy, while the remaining associate directors saw their wages rise on average by 7.5 per cent.

Comments (14)

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12:23pm Tue 14 Jan 14

karlmarx says...

I thought "austerity measures' meant reducing people's wages, terms and conditions? not awarding inflation busting pay rises and allowance hikes.
'we're all in this together'?
Restore justice NOW!
I thought "austerity measures' meant reducing people's wages, terms and conditions? not awarding inflation busting pay rises and allowance hikes. 'we're all in this together'? Restore justice NOW! karlmarx
  • Score: 21

12:29pm Tue 14 Jan 14

karlmarx says...

CALL FOR THE RESIGNATION OF THE LEADER AND CABINET OF WILTSHIRE COUNCIL

The petition is gradually reaching 3000 signatures, just a few more to go. Share the link to show your disgust...

https://you.38degree
s.org.uk/petitions/r
esignation-of-leader
-and-cabinet-of-wilt
shire-council
CALL FOR THE RESIGNATION OF THE LEADER AND CABINET OF WILTSHIRE COUNCIL The petition is gradually reaching 3000 signatures, just a few more to go. Share the link to show your disgust... https://you.38degree s.org.uk/petitions/r esignation-of-leader -and-cabinet-of-wilt shire-council karlmarx
  • Score: 19

3:58pm Tue 14 Jan 14

nesspah says...

Been reading the comments posted in the other Wiltshire local papers.

Phew they don't like this Council do they ?

The Trowbridge junta is burying its head ever further .......... but it won't go away. Ought to try having illicit affairs - that diverts attention for a while.
Been reading the comments posted in the other Wiltshire local papers. Phew they don't like this Council do they ? The Trowbridge junta is burying its head ever further .......... but it won't go away. Ought to try having illicit affairs - that diverts attention for a while. nesspah
  • Score: 18

4:46pm Tue 14 Jan 14

hillyanne says...

I assume Clr Scott has an important,busy job as Leader of Wilts Council.I'm sure if she wished to she could earn just as much(if not more)in a comparable admin. post in another "company".We have to be realistic and pay people properly for what they do,surely?
I assume Clr Scott has an important,busy job as Leader of Wilts Council.I'm sure if she wished to she could earn just as much(if not more)in a comparable admin. post in another "company".We have to be realistic and pay people properly for what they do,surely? hillyanne
  • Score: -11

6:20pm Tue 14 Jan 14

brandx says...

A 37% increase is GRABBING in anybody's langauge. How can they justify this when many are relying on food banks and pay day loans.

It is good that the special Wiltshire Council meeting is now going ahead on Tuesday 4th February 2014, especially after the attempts to try and sabotage the original request for a meeting by fixing it on Christmas Day, which was an official holiday for the staff.

As was stated earlier, please get as many as possible to sign the petition. There are a long of angry people out there, whereas there are a few Grabbers inside County Hall, Trowbridge
A 37% increase is GRABBING in anybody's langauge. How can they justify this when many are relying on food banks and pay day loans. It is good that the special Wiltshire Council meeting is now going ahead on Tuesday 4th February 2014, especially after the attempts to try and sabotage the original request for a meeting by fixing it on Christmas Day, which was an official holiday for the staff. As was stated earlier, please get as many as possible to sign the petition. There are a long of angry people out there, whereas there are a few Grabbers inside County Hall, Trowbridge brandx
  • Score: 19

6:39pm Tue 14 Jan 14

gingin says...

Yes sign the petition but I have this feeling that her majesty Scott won't resign or any of the magic circle acting as a cabinet.

The gospel according to Scott is totally out of order and not many support this horrendous mistake over her huge hike in allowance. She is smug and self satisfied, "we are all in this together" is as bad as "Wiltshire Council where everybody matters" How can any one survive when they show absolutely zero compassion for the poor and those made redundant?

She may work a lot of hours but it is not classed as a job with the same benefits and Councillors have the choice not to stand for election if they don't like the conditions.

Agreed we need younger people to stand for election but an allowance is just that not for paying your mortgage or your household bills and certainly not for ripping off the public purse!
Yes sign the petition but I have this feeling that her majesty Scott won't resign or any of the magic circle acting as a cabinet. The gospel according to Scott is totally out of order and not many support this horrendous mistake over her huge hike in allowance. She is smug and self satisfied, "we are all in this together" is as bad as "Wiltshire Council where everybody matters" How can any one survive when they show absolutely zero compassion for the poor and those made redundant? She may work a lot of hours but it is not classed as a job with the same benefits and Councillors have the choice not to stand for election if they don't like the conditions. Agreed we need younger people to stand for election but an allowance is just that not for paying your mortgage or your household bills and certainly not for ripping off the public purse! gingin
  • Score: 20

6:54pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Schoolmum999 says...

I am inclined to agree that the allowances should be higher than they were, but now is not the time and the massive jump is excessive. The councillors voting in favour of this hike have basically just said to all other council employees "do as I say, not as I do". and have proved that they have little respect for their council colleagues.

Please councillors, do the right thing and take the same increase as the rest of the council employees.
I am inclined to agree that the allowances should be higher than they were, but now is not the time and the massive jump is excessive. The councillors voting in favour of this hike have basically just said to all other council employees "do as I say, not as I do". and have proved that they have little respect for their council colleagues. Please councillors, do the right thing and take the same increase as the rest of the council employees. Schoolmum999
  • Score: 17

9:14pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Morello says...

A councillor is NOT a job.

Yes it takes up a lot of time, unless the person elected has some skill in perusing documents to absorb the key information.

As with all headcount reduction and delayering it will be the middle managers who will be doing extra work and should be getting more pay. The theory is that they eliminate non-value-added work but it does not work out like that because the top layer are not able to tutor them.

The Cabinet have no justification whatsoever. It is pure greed by people who know they will get away with it.
A councillor is NOT a job. Yes it takes up a lot of time, unless the person elected has some skill in perusing documents to absorb the key information. As with all headcount reduction and delayering it will be the middle managers who will be doing extra work and should be getting more pay. The theory is that they eliminate non-value-added work but it does not work out like that because the top layer are not able to tutor them. The Cabinet have no justification whatsoever. It is pure greed by people who know they will get away with it. Morello
  • Score: 18

7:03pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Lady Tinky Winky says...

Why does a pensioner like her need all that money? She is 66.

She lives on her 60 acre farm in Chippenham like all pensioners do!
Why does a pensioner like her need all that money? She is 66. She lives on her 60 acre farm in Chippenham like all pensioners do! Lady Tinky Winky
  • Score: 8

5:31pm Fri 17 Jan 14

IanMcL says...

Jane Scott has been Pickled!

Our least favourite minister Mr Pickles has told her, personally, not to take the money - it may be justified and independently assessed....but it is wrong to take the pay rise now, when you are asking council workers to accept 1%!

Cllr Scott has responded by saying...."I'm still taking it"
Jane Scott has been Pickled! Our least favourite minister Mr Pickles has told her, personally, not to take the money - it may be justified and independently assessed....but it is wrong to take the pay rise now, when you are asking council workers to accept 1%! Cllr Scott has responded by saying...."I'm still taking it" IanMcL
  • Score: 7

6:45pm Fri 17 Jan 14

gingin says...

Councillor McLennan beat me to it, I heard Pickles on radio telling her not to take the increase, however greedy woman that she is has not taken any notice. She has no scruples just self, that is not what a Councillor is about or indeed a leader. What a poor example she is setting, why is it the Tory Councillors who disagree do not stand up and be counted instead of hiding behind the party line. They are a bunch of wimps.

Don't bother trying to defend it any of you as nobody out there is listening.

She should do the proper thing and RESIGN along with the magic circle acting as a Cabinet!! She is an utter disgrace as a Councillor, leader and to the female race!
Councillor McLennan beat me to it, I heard Pickles on radio telling her not to take the increase, however greedy woman that she is has not taken any notice. She has no scruples just self, that is not what a Councillor is about or indeed a leader. What a poor example she is setting, why is it the Tory Councillors who disagree do not stand up and be counted instead of hiding behind the party line. They are a bunch of wimps. Don't bother trying to defend it any of you as nobody out there is listening. She should do the proper thing and RESIGN along with the magic circle acting as a Cabinet!! She is an utter disgrace as a Councillor, leader and to the female race! gingin
  • Score: 9

1:32pm Sat 18 Jan 14

karlmarx says...

gingin wrote:
Councillor McLennan beat me to it, I heard Pickles on radio telling her not to take the increase, however greedy woman that she is has not taken any notice. She has no scruples just self, that is not what a Councillor is about or indeed a leader. What a poor example she is setting, why is it the Tory Councillors who disagree do not stand up and be counted instead of hiding behind the party line. They are a bunch of wimps.

Don't bother trying to defend it any of you as nobody out there is listening.

She should do the proper thing and RESIGN along with the magic circle acting as a Cabinet!! She is an utter disgrace as a Councillor, leader and to the female race!
Here here! It's news on the BBC website as well and, is days away from being National headlines despite the attempts to hide the story. Wiltshire council is becoming the laughing stock of the country, unless you are a victim of the council of course.
[quote][p][bold]gingin[/bold] wrote: Councillor McLennan beat me to it, I heard Pickles on radio telling her not to take the increase, however greedy woman that she is has not taken any notice. She has no scruples just self, that is not what a Councillor is about or indeed a leader. What a poor example she is setting, why is it the Tory Councillors who disagree do not stand up and be counted instead of hiding behind the party line. They are a bunch of wimps. Don't bother trying to defend it any of you as nobody out there is listening. She should do the proper thing and RESIGN along with the magic circle acting as a Cabinet!! She is an utter disgrace as a Councillor, leader and to the female race![/p][/quote]Here here! It's news on the BBC website as well and, is days away from being National headlines despite the attempts to hide the story. Wiltshire council is becoming the laughing stock of the country, unless you are a victim of the council of course. karlmarx
  • Score: 6

2:02pm Sat 18 Jan 14

brandx says...

If I was a Wiltshire Tory candidate for 2015 I would be really worried - top national Tory says that Tory controlled Wiltshire Council is absolutely wrong in massively increasing their allowances when ordinary people are on hard times. But Wiltshire Council Leader basically tells Pickles to get stuffed. She reckons she is right and everyone else can get stuffed.

It is to hope that enough Wiltsjire Tory councillors have the guts on 4th February.

This story will not go away - which is why Glenn, Perry, Murrison, Gray and that female wrestler in Chippenham, should be worried.
If I was a Wiltshire Tory candidate for 2015 I would be really worried - top national Tory says that Tory controlled Wiltshire Council is absolutely wrong in massively increasing their allowances when ordinary people are on hard times. But Wiltshire Council Leader basically tells Pickles to get stuffed. She reckons she is right and everyone else can get stuffed. It is to hope that enough Wiltsjire Tory councillors have the guts on 4th February. This story will not go away - which is why Glenn, Perry, Murrison, Gray and that female wrestler in Chippenham, should be worried. brandx
  • Score: 6

9:17am Mon 20 Jan 14

karlmarx says...

brandx wrote:
If I was a Wiltshire Tory candidate for 2015 I would be really worried - top national Tory says that Tory controlled Wiltshire Council is absolutely wrong in massively increasing their allowances when ordinary people are on hard times. But Wiltshire Council Leader basically tells Pickles to get stuffed. She reckons she is right and everyone else can get stuffed.

It is to hope that enough Wiltsjire Tory councillors have the guts on 4th February.

This story will not go away - which is why Glenn, Perry, Murrison, Gray and that female wrestler in Chippenham, should be worried.
This story will not go away because people need to constantly remind others that while they are suffering under austerity measures Wiltshire council leaders are indulging in a feeding frenzy at the trough. It's your money they are 'awarding' themselves, keep reminding the council of that fact and let's restore justice at the next election.
[quote][p][bold]brandx[/bold] wrote: If I was a Wiltshire Tory candidate for 2015 I would be really worried - top national Tory says that Tory controlled Wiltshire Council is absolutely wrong in massively increasing their allowances when ordinary people are on hard times. But Wiltshire Council Leader basically tells Pickles to get stuffed. She reckons she is right and everyone else can get stuffed. It is to hope that enough Wiltsjire Tory councillors have the guts on 4th February. This story will not go away - which is why Glenn, Perry, Murrison, Gray and that female wrestler in Chippenham, should be worried.[/p][/quote]This story will not go away because people need to constantly remind others that while they are suffering under austerity measures Wiltshire council leaders are indulging in a feeding frenzy at the trough. It's your money they are 'awarding' themselves, keep reminding the council of that fact and let's restore justice at the next election. karlmarx
  • Score: 1

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