Councillors’ pay cut: 10% is not enough

FRHerefordshire Council will tomorrow discuss whether or not councillors should take a voluntary 10% reduction in their allowance.

Cllrs Andrew Atkinson and Paul Rone will put forward a motion that could potentially save £40,000, equivalent to two full-time posts.

They hope that this will also open a debate around cutting senior officers’ wages, the top 13 of whom are making more than a million combined.

“We want councillors in these incredibly hard times to lead the way and take a voluntary cut and then we can look at the huge salaries of some of our senior officers and ask them to do the same,” said Atkinson.

It’s a bold move from two Conservative councillors, but it doesn’t go far enough.

A 10% cut is not a lot and many councillors either own businesses or have second incomes.

In May we called on all councillors well-off enough to do so to give up the whole 100% of their allowance. It takes the Michael that some of our so-called representatives have other considerable wealth yet continue to take a wage at a time when they’re making hundreds of their employees redundant.

All parties are guilty.

Tomorrow’s motion is unlikely to be passed. Even if it did councillors will only be agreeing to a voluntary reduction, something that they can, and are most likely to, just conveniently ignore.

If the motion is rejected will Cllrs Atkinson and Rone take a 10% cut anyway? Or will they do a ‘Liz Harvey‘ and just pretend their proposal never happened?

3 thoughts on “Councillors’ pay cut: 10% is not enough

  1. Easy to have a go at councillors but hang on a moment. I work, (as a care worker) for just over £7.00 ph. On Friday as I took day off for council meeting I lost over £60, as I do every Wednesday as I devote that day to council work. = £120! Had I agreed to go to a meeting on Thursday morning I would have lost £30 plus my bonus from work as I could not give my employer the 3 weeks notice they require for time off!
    I work 6 days a week as a care worker, fitting in my constituency work in between visiting clients. I also hold a monthly ‘Surgery’, and pay for any advertising of surgery from my own pocket. This week I have taken on two homeless cases, a case about a parent who thinks social services should not have taken her child from her, heed a couple over a housing dispute and these are on top of my existing council case load!
    My weekly wage averages at about £260 pw, after tax. The public records show I receive just over £700 pm from the Council. It will not take much realisation that most of that goes to make up for time off work!
    There are probably other councillors in similar position, I do’nt know cause I have’nt asked them. Not my business, although I know one or two do not claim their allowance .
    How any of this is going to get senior managers to give up some of their salary, I do not know. I do not know if any Directors give their salaries to good causes, they may do! Surely what we should be trying to do, as I have all these years as a councillor, and trade unionist,is to raise the wages of every one in the county to the same level. If councillors take a drop in allowances, how is that going to encourage single mums to get elected? Or the unemployed or disabled to feel able to stand for election? These two Tory councillors have done this for a gimmick, they probably can afford to be self employed! Why do these two councillors not ask the Head teachers of the secondary schools, most of who earn over a £100,000 pa to take a pay cut or the Heads of various health organisations to do so?
    I prefer to reflect how my constituents live, most of whom do not earn as much as these two Tories. As the notice of motion asked councillors to ‘voluntarily’ give 10% of our salaries I guess we wil not know till the sums are published In the local papers next spring who has or not.
    So now I am an easy target, but reflect, how much of your earnings do you give to try to make Herefordshire a better place to live?
    Chris Chappell

  2. Chris,
    this was not a gimmick. You do not know my earnings or circumstances so please do not presume.
    You have missed the point, if you answer my emails I will happily discuss this with you.

  3. Mr Chappell, when this item of news first saw daylight, I agreed with you. I called it a gimmick because it had all the hallmarks of a gimmick dressed up for some short term political gain.
    I was wrong. A position I am no stranger to. These two young lads, much closer to the emerging generation of thinkers than perhaps you and I are, decided to do things differently. They took it upon themselves to act and I was wrong to hurl phlegm at them. They didn’t do anything wrong Christopher. They didn’t follow agreed protocols, which is fine by me and they took Lady Luck by the hand, dived in, in the hope that change could be brought about.
    That’s what I want from our leaders. I want them to think differently to how they’ve been told to think and act. I want imagination and commonsense to be the cornerstone of their thinking. Not some mindless mantra that says, ‘we don’t do things this way because we’ve never done it in any other way.’
    I want change. These two lads gave it a go and as a result they’ve both took a kicking from their colleagues who were unable to see the wisdom in offering up their great idea. Despite their kicking, they have won the respect of ‘us’, the bottom feeding, end of the food chain rate payers who have little or no say in the madness that has created the job and wealth creation excercise that is Hereford Council.
    No Chris. You and I were wrong to see this as a gimmick. These two lads have won in so many other ways. They’ve achieved respect for stepping outside the magic circle that bloats, fattens and celebrates the members of our failing local political system, and simply tried, in their own way, to change things a little.
    My warmest regards Mr Chappell.

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