Lib-Dems reject pay increase

The Liberal Democrat Leader of Sheffield City Council and his Lib Dem Cabinet members intend to reject an independent panel’s proposal for senior councillors to receive significant pay rises.

The independent panel’s report, which is due to be considered at the 17th February 2010 meeting of Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet, recommends a total of £66,212 a year extra for the Leader and the other nine members of the Cabinet team.

The independent panel recommends’ that the Leader receives a pay rise of £12,038.56, so that the total allowance for being Leader of the Council increases from £18,167.68 to £30,206.24. The independent panel also recommends’ that Cabinet members receive a pay rise of £6,012.27, so that the total allowance for being a Cabinet member increases from £9,083.86 to £15,103.13.

Cllr Paul Scriven, Liberal Democrat Leader of Sheffield City Council, said, “At a time when the Council is going the extra mile to keep Council Tax increases low, it’s important that we don’t see a big increase in the amount paid out to councillors. Therefore the Liberal Democrats don’t intend to approve the significant pay rises for senior councillors that the independent panel recommend.

“Personally this means I won’t receive the £12,000 pay rise that the independent panel recommends. However, I believe that if senior politicians talk tough on cutting down costs in the Town Hall to keep Council Tax low then we need to lead by example.”

The independent panel also recommends increases for other councillor special responsibility allowances (SRA’s) within the Council. The Lib Dem team intend to reject these increases too so that SRA’s are frozen. It would cost local taxpayers £178,000 a year extra to implement all the increases recommended by the independent panel.

Paul added: “Given some of the hardship that many local families are going through at the moment, keeping Council Tax down needs to be our priority.”

The Cabinet will also have to recommend what action to take on the basic allowance for councillors, which in the past has been kept in line with the average change in council staff pay. At the moment the basic allowance stands at £11,742.45.

The Cabinet’s recommendations at next weeks meeting will go to a March full Council meeting to be voted on by the whole Council.

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