At todays meeting of Sedgemoor District Council the ruling Tory group voted to agree a remuneration package for next years councillor allowances that will see Executive council members gain more than 30% increase from £6,717.00 in 2018-19 to a massive £9,136.00 for 2019-20, in a year that saw their staff wages rise by just 2%. Labour members, plus the solitary Lib Dem, voted against this increase while the 2 Kippers supported the Tories
Sedgemoor Labour Group Leader Cllr Mick Lerry (Labour, Victoria) questioned the wisdom of these increases and also raised questions about the adjustments to their Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) which were agreed at the same meeting including making note of £150,000.00 saving due to in-year staff restructuring, which saw senior managers workload increase considerably following some roles being absorbed, noting that the justification for executive increase allowances was ‘to reflect increased workloads and levels of responsibility’, a point that Labour also asked to be clarified.
Labour votes Against
Cllr Leigh Redman (Labour, Dunwear) said “In these times of austerity, on one hand we make our staff do more for less, while on the other hand senior councillors award themselves massive pay increases. This is not a time for such an increase, if their workload has increased by this much then it should be evidenced. Regardless what the independent remuneration committee suggests, as councillors we can amend the proposal, I voted against this proposal and was supported by my colleagues. Every one of the Tory ruling group that were present voted for the rise!”
Cllr Brian Smedley (Labour, Westover) said “At the start of this item the preamble clearly said the Basic Allowance should be 2% to keep it in line with the staff pay award. The Labour group unanimously took that position. What on earth message does this send to the Councils workers!”