25th Sep, 2020

Feeling the pinch - councillors forego suggested increase in allowances

Ross Crawford 15th Feb, 2020

ONE year after awarding themselves rises which cost the council £60,000, Redditch Borough Councillors look set to forego the suggested increases for 2020/21.

Recommendations from The Independent Remuneration Panel would have seen the basic allowance for councillors rise by two per cent to £4,526, and an increase from £13,311 to £13,578 for the authority’s Leader, among a raft of across the board increases.

Last year’s £60,000 rise was one of the signals had set alarm bells ringing for external auditors Grant Thornton, which went on to hand the authority a Section 24 notice warning it was in danger of running out of money.

Since then Councillors have been battling to get the authority’s finances under control sparking a large number of cuts in services, most notably with the withdrawal from the Rubicon Business Centre – saving £92,000 – and the slashing of grants to local voluntary community groups – saving £108,000.

At Tuesday evening’s meeting of the authority’s executive committee Council Leader Matt Dormer (Con, West) set the tone when he said: “I think we should not be taking any sort of rise just now.

“My view is that we leave well alone and we look to deal with it at a later date when things are rosier.”

Members voted unanimously in favour of recommending to full council that the suggested increases be passed over.

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