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Pickles attacks 'greedy' pay rise of Cornwall councillors

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: January 02, 2013

Cornwall Council

Cornwall Council

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Councillors in Cornwall should buy the "darkest sunglasses they can possibly get" after awarding themselves a pay rise at a time of austerity, Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has told the Western Morning News.

The Conservative minister hit out at Cornwall politicians for having their "nose in the trough" after they voted in October to bump up their pay packets by £2,472 a year.

The 20% increase to £14,600 saddles the taxpayer with an extra £304,056 a year.

Mr Pickles this month issued another round of brutal cuts to local authority spending, which will see the authority having to find almost £30 million of savings in the next two years – cuts which critics say authorities will struggle to cope with.

Mr Pickles said: "I would suggest they spend that money on buying themselves the darkest sunglasses they can possibly get.

"And the reason they are going to need dark sunglasses is they will find it very difficult looking into the eyes of their employees who have had to endure a pay cut over a period of time. And I believe councils should lead from the front, not put their nose in the trough."

Mr Pickles also turned his wrath on councils in Devon for refusing to collect bins weekly. He said waste collection was important as it was the only "visible" service most taxpayers got from the local authority.

"It's the basic right for every English man and woman to be able to put the remnants of their chicken tikka masala in their bin without having to wait a fortnight for it to be collected," he said.

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  • josdave  |  January 02 2013, 7:19PM

    Say what you like about Pickles but the fact of the matter is that the people who actually work for the council have a choice of frozen salaries or redundancy while those at the top give themselves ridiculous rises. We pay their wages but we can't sack them so they can do what they like. If they don't get re-elected their replacements will continue at the trough. It's the system that's at fault and nobody is going to upset that very well paying applecart.

    |   10
  • caroclemens  |  January 02 2013, 10:37AM

    Mr. Pickles should take a look at his close colleagues first but having said that, it would be appropriate for Cornwall Councillors to ensure that their so-called 'expenses' (enough for most of us to live on) are below the annual wage of their own lowest paid employees. At present this is not the case.

    |   16
  • Jezza999  |  January 02 2013, 10:19AM

    Let's not allow Pickles' unpopularity to obscure the valid point that he is making. 'Our' council have awarded themselves a large increase in their taxpayer funded handouts whilst increasing council tax for some of the poorest citizens of an already impoverished county. I will not be voting for the silly little twerp who (purportedly) 'represents' me at the next election - only a few weeks away. 'Our' council have shown themselves to be self-serving, greedy and frequently corrupt. The best thing we can do is to boot the lot of them out and start again.

    |   22
  • twain1  |  January 02 2013, 9:47AM

    Would that be the same Eric Pickles that was told to pay back expenses and also claimed for a second home occupied by his parents? This big fat tory hypocrite wants a revolution and he should be accommodated.

    |   7
  • nickthompson  |  January 02 2013, 9:23AM

    Ha,ha,ha,what was that about Pots,and Kettles.

    |   3

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