Brighton and Hove councillors agree pay freeze

Posted On 27 May 2011 at 4:46 am

Councillors have voted to keep their pay and allowances the same as last year “in view of the current economic climate”.

But they backed a review to be held during the current financial year.

Green councillor Leo Littman formally proposed the “review of members’ allowances” at a special meeting of Brighton and Hove City Council yesterday (Thursday 26 May).

To laughter, he told the meeting at Hove Town Hall: “As maiden speeches go, this won’t be up there with Disraeli.”

Run for Great Ormond Street Hospital

While supporting the status quo, Green council leader Bill Randall set out three areas of concern.

He felt that being deputy chairman of a regulatory committee, which “involves a great deal of responsibility and extra work”, should receive a special responsibility allowance. These include the planning committee.

He was concerned that the council should pay an allowance for childcare and, finally, he wanted to see financial support for carers.

Councillor Randall said: “This would not just be for those in the chamber at the moment.

Support

“It’s also about providing a framework of support for people who might like to become councillors.”

After the meeting, Conservative councillor Dawn Barnett criticised the prospect of using taxpayer money  to fund childcare for councillors.

And the Labour and Co-operative Group issued a statement saying that it was surprised that the new Green administration did not seek to change the pay structure.

Labour said that the Greens had attacked it as recently as February this year as being too generous.

Labour group leader Councillor Gill Mitchell said: “Our view has always been that the current arrangements should stay in place pending changes to some of the council’s democratic structures such as scrutiny and a possible return to a system of committees. 

“It is rather telling that once in power, and receiving a large number of additional allowances, the Green councillors have performed a u-turn on their own pay.”

The leader of the council will receive £28,758.

This compares with £18,178 in Portsmouth, £18,581 in Bournemouth and £23,616 for the leader of East Sussex County Council.

However, the leader of West Sussex County Council receives £30,744, in Bristol the figure is £37,366 and in Birmingham £55,947.

The total bill for councillors’ pay and allowances is expected to total just over £1 million for the year.

  1. Rob Jarrett Reply

    It wasn’t a U-turn,our main objective was to refuse the 1% rise but bring back the other good bits soon. We also intend to reduce our own allowances. Gill just has to snipe at everything.

  2. Valerie Paynter, saveHOVE Reply

    The saddest thing of all about political point scoring and “sniping” is that it is aimed at an ignorant public that takes it on board and forms its judgments of the political & democratic process and political parties – not on actions but on how their brains process these ‘snipings’.

    Politics is about tricking a gullible public at every turn. Discuss.

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