Councillors won’t take pay cut

BASSETLAW councillors voted against taking a five per cent reduction in allowances, which could have saved up to £15,000 a year.

The motion was presented by Tory councillor Val Bowles at Monday night’s budget meeting and received some applause from the left.

She said: “I feel that this is necessary to demonstrate our commitment to the people of Bassetlaw and our desire to use public money in a responsible way.”

Each elected member receives a basic allowance of £4,628 per year, equating to £385.67p a month. A five per cent reduction would have meant each councillor lose out on £19.28p a month.

The motion, which would have affected all 48 councillors, could have saved the council around £925 a month - amounting to over £11,000 a year.

Coun Bowles added: “You can see that when you apply this to the Special Responsibility Allowances as well, the savings would be much more significant. A rough estimate to the total savings to this council would be around £15,000 per year.”

“We are given an allowance and equipment that enables us to carry out our duties as councillors - none of us should ever say we are out of pocket.”

Prior to the motion, councillors heard from the Independent Remuneration Panel that recommended not to change allowances.

Bassetlaw Council leader Graham Oxby said: “We have always accepted the findings of the remuneration panel.”

“We have a policy of whatever they say we abide by that strictly to the letter. They recommended a status quo, under difficult circumstances, to have a pay freeze.”

When it came to vote 17 councillors voted for and 27 against the proposal.