Suffolk's leaders criticised

SUFFOLK'S leaders were branded “disgusting” and “abhorrent” by their own colleagues.The criticism came after it emerged that all but two members accepted controversial allowance increases.

SUFFOLK'S leaders were branded “disgusting” and “abhorrent” by their own colleagues after it emerged that all but two members accepted controversial allowance increases.

The county council's councillors agreed to increase their basic pay by 25 per cent - from £7,173 a year to £9,000 - in a vote in July last year.

It came as the council slashed £24m from its budget, including heavy cuts to adult services, and more than 100 posts were lost.

Just two councillors stood by their principles and refused to accept the extra cash.

Those two members - Labour's David Thomas and Jack Owen - have now criticised their fellow councillors.

Mr Thomas, Labour councillor for Gunton, said: “I'm not surprised - I'm ashamed for the rest of my colleagues really.”

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Meanwhile Mr Owen, Labour councillor for Sudbury, said it was “immoral” to increase allowances against the backdrop of budget cuts.

Andrew Cann, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrat and Independent group on the council, denied it was hypocritical and stressed that the party were never against allowance rises, just the process of deciding them.

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