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Cornwall Council votes to increase pay 20%

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 24, 2012

County Hall

Cornwall Council votes to increase pay 20%

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Councillors in Cornwall have called for their numbers to be slashed and pay doubled for those who remain in power.

Yesterday, Cornwall Council voted in favour of bumping up their pay packets by £2,472 a year on top of the current £12,128.

From next May, following council elections councillors will take home £14,600 a year.

At a full council meeting at County Hall, Truro, the 20% pay rise was voted through, saddling the taxpayer with an extra £304,056 a year.

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Councillor Mike Varney said he believed members should work as professional politicians.

He said: "We are all well aware the current £12,128 is simply not enough.

"I think we should get rid of 60 members and pay the rest £35,000 a year so they end up filling their time as a professional councillor."

They also voted in favour of increasing the current 40p a mile in travel expenses to 45p a mile.

The £2,472 increase came following a report by the Independent Remuneration Panel, set up to come up with a figure that would not prevent people on low incomes from standing as councillors.

In particular, younger people and those with families perhaps on low incomes were borne in mind.

Panel members had recommended to the council allowances should rise £4,071 to £16,200 a year, which would have increased the strain on the public purse to half a million pounds.

However, John Pollard, the new cabinet portfolio holder for Localism, Sustainability and Development, put forward a motion calling for the £14,600.

He said the rise reflected previous allowance increases councillors had rejected.

He said: "£14,600 is what new councillors should be getting.

"If we want to attract new, young councillors this is what we should be offering."

After Mr Pollard's amendment was passed the, 42 councillors voted in favour of the extra £2,472.

In the "no" camp, 29 voiced their opposition, while four abstained from voting.

According to the report by the panel, the amount they originally came up with was based on members putting in an average of 25 hours a week on council business.

Councillor Andrew Long said on average he worked 50 hours a week for the electorate.

He said: "That means (on the current rate) I earn £4.61p an hour which I think is illegal.

"Last year I spent £1,750 more than I earned and I can't keep doing that."

Mr Long said if allowances did not increase, only the wealthy would be able to stand for local government.

Councillor Andrew Wallis reminded the chamber it was not voting for itself but for future members.

He said: "There's no guarantee any of us will be here in May.

"I know there are two councillors in this room who are not going to stand again because they can't afford to." Mr Wallis said he struggled himself to work full-time as a councillor.

He added: "Most of the people I talk to in my area say the maximum (allowance) should be £20,000."

Councillor Stuart Cullimore said he could not in all conscience vote in favour of the motion.

He said: "At a time when we are looking at a 30% reduction in housing benefit and our staff face a pay freeze, we cannot award ourselves an increase. I think if you have a passion for politics you will find a way."

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  • STMICHAEL  |  February 03 2013, 11:55AM

    We need to have a vote as the figures above that there are far too many and surely that will save money for cornwall.

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  • syseng  |  January 30 2013, 7:13PM

    Cornwall county council disgust me , awarding themselves a 20% pay rise , there is no way they deserve a pay rise of this amount , and then want to put up the council tax, I work at RNAS Culdrose for Serco ,as a avionics fitter , the workforce there got 1.5% last year and we had to fight for that for 6 months, before it was agreed. Can the Government overrule this pay rise, we need to petition against this. Cut the council in half to pay for the 20% ,Those that voted for this insulting 20% payrise should all be chucked out at the next election. Cornwall county council Stink, we have had the wool pulled over our eyes for too long

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  • JGillingham  |  October 25 2012, 5:29PM

    stefanheale "Why do we need 123 Councillors? Our neighbours, Devon, Somerset and Dorset, all bigger counties, manage with 62, 58 and 45 respectively. Cornwall has 4,350 head of population per councillor, Devon has 17,741 head of population per councillor, Somerset has 15,812 head of population per councillor, Dorset has 15,888 head of population per councillor," Cornwall has 123 principal authority councillors. 4,352 head of population per councillor, Devon has 452 principal authority councillors. 2,529 head of population per councillor, Somerset has 425 principal authority councillors. 2,158 head of population per councillor, Dorset has 342 principal authority councillors. 2090 head of population per councillor.

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  • John1000  |  October 25 2012, 7:18AM

    Why not have 12 full time members for Cornwall with proper pay so that we attract from a broad spectrum rather than the reitred or semi retired who with the best will in the world are not in touch with how things are today but harker back to how things were. This would balance off the council executive with able people who represent the people. Sounds like a cabinet - or the board of most organisations where you balance of the executive with non executive directors. In terms of the council leader, let the people vote not the council.

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  • H_Trevorrow  |  October 25 2012, 12:59AM

    i thought rnasdutch post worthy of highlighting quote "So now we have the real reason behind the removal of the previous Leader. Nothing to do with the privatisation of services to save money. That was just an Andy Wallace smokescreen. It because him and others knew absolutely that the previous Leader and Cabinet would not support this absolutely outrageous 20% payrise, and it would be stopped dead in its tracks. So he had to go. Ratepayers of Cornwall, you and I have been well and truly duped. Those that voted for this insulting 20% payrise should all be chucked out at the next election. Get it through your thick heads, you knew what the allowances were when you signed up. One Councillor on TV this evening says he cannot do his Council work is the supposed 25 hours the allowance covers. NO, because you havent a clue how to work effectively and manage your time. And as for Bert Biscoe making 50K a year with all his allowance, well anyone who knows him that is an absolute travesty and waste of public money." unquote

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  • stefanheale  |  October 24 2012, 11:29PM

    Why do we need 123 Councillors? Our neighbours, Devon, Somerset and Dorset, all bigger counties, manage with 62, 58 and 45 respectively. Cornwall has 4,350 head of population per councillor, Devon has 17,741 head of population per councillor, Somerset has 15,812 head of population per councillor, Dorset has 15,888 head of population per councillor, What the hell are they doing with our money? Thought for the day, answers on a post please - If a Unitary Authority is more efficient than a County Council with District Councils, why have my council taxes and business rates not reduced?????

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  • H_Trevorrow  |  October 24 2012, 10:55PM

    How about a return to the values of altruistic public service....i suggest people pay £500 for the privaledge of guiding our communities...no allowances- no pay. Will we then sort out the wheat from the chaff....lets face it loads of these cllrs are there as a lifestyle choice/ nice extra to thier income . How many councillors are using this part time income as a main/only income??....is it that they are so lame they cannot get a job? What sort of people do we want leading us?? Many cllrs are getting as much as possible from every state source they can gold dig. in anticipation of the predictable counter argument...if you vote for a dole scrounger you subsidise the f*****er directly yourself.

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  • stones  |  October 24 2012, 10:47PM

    I must admit I have always seen Councillors as parasites. Lots of little upstart Councillors producing load of useless rhetoric, people that like the sound of their own voices and basically oozing with self importance and doing a lot of nothing. Do we really need them? Well if they don't like the wage they can always leave as I don't think the community would miss them. I guess if they get this rise they will most certainly screw us at the parking meters again to pay for it as it's usually the easy target for that extra few bob.

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  • DuporthBob  |  October 24 2012, 10:46PM

    ;lm;lk

    Rate   1
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  • RNASDutch  |  October 24 2012, 8:48PM

    So now we have the real reason behind the removal of the previous Leader. Nothing to do with the privatisation of services to save money. That was just an Andy Wallace smokescreen. It because him and others knew absolutely that the previous Leader and Cabinet would not support this absolutely outrageous 20% payrise, and it would be stopped dead in its tracks. So he had to go. Ratepayers of Cornwall, you and I have been well and truly duped. Those that voted for this insulting 20% payrise should all be chucked out at the next election. Get it through your thick heads, you knew what the allowances were when you signed up. One Councillor on TV this evening says he cannot do his Council work is the supposed 25 hours the allowance covers. NO, because you havent a clue how to work effectively and manage your time. And as for Bert Biscoe making 50K a year with all his allowance, well anyone who knows him that is an absolute travesty and waste of public money.

    Rate   3
    Report

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