Councillors set to reject big pay rise

MEMBERS of Suffolk County Council are set to reject proposals to increase their allowances by almost 30 per cent.Instead they are expected to approve an inflation-linked increase of about two pc when the question is debated at next week's full meeting of the council.

MEMBERS of Suffolk County Council are set to reject proposals to increase their allowances by almost 30 per cent.

Instead they are expected to approve an inflation-linked increase of about two pc when the question is debated at next week's full meeting of the council.

An independent panel into councillors allowances recommended that the basic payment should be increased from £7,000 to £9,000 a year.

The council leader's allowance would increase from £23,300 to £31,500 and cabinet members would see their allowances increase from £14,600 to £22,500 a year.

However Jeremy Pembroke said it didn't take too long for him and his Conservative group to decide these increases were unacceptable.

He said: “I took one look at the proposals and knew we could not accept them, especially not at present with the problems we face.

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“I know the whole (Conservative) group feels the same way so it is certain that these proposals will be turned down.”

Mr Pembroke said the council appreciated the work of the independent panel which had proposed the increases, but felt the time was not right for such a large increase.

He said: “It might bring us into line with other counties, but that is not the point with our budget facing very serious problems next year.”

Liberal Democrat councillor Andrew Cann was surprised that the proposal had even been put forward at this time.

He said: “I was the only councillor to vote against this panel, and I shall certainly vote against these proposals. How could we talk about financial problems and then vote in this kind of increase?”

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