Pay rise for senior councillors agreed

By Emily Pearce

Thursday, March 20, 2014

 

THE basic allowance paid to Isle of Wight councillors has been frozen for another year, but senior members have accepted an additional pay rise.

Members last night (Wednesday) voted to accept the recommendations of an Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP), to freeze the basic allowance at £7,903 for the sixth year running, but to increase the special responsibility allowances paid on top to senior members.

Council leader Cllr Ian Stephens' additional allowance has been hiked from £11,549 to £15,806, deputy leader Cllr Steve Stubbings' from £7,306 to £9,879, and overview and scrutiny chairman Cllr Geoff Lumley's from £5,532 to £7,903.

The allowance paid to executive — formerly cabinet — members has been increased from £7,306 to £7,903.

Cllr Bob Seely questioned the wisdom of accepting a pay rise when hundreds of council staff were facing redundancy — he said the timing 'made him wince' — but others said they relied on their allowance.

Cllr Julie Jones-Evans said unless people were paid an allowance, only independently wealthy and retired people would stand for election.

Cllr Stephens said he had taken a voluntary pay cut after the election and was still paid significantly less than his predecessor David Pugh, who received an additional leader's allowance of £23,709, on top of the basic allowance.

The total bill for members' allowances amounted to £471,696.

Max Morrison, chairman of the IRP, a panel made up of members of the public, said the increases were 'fully justified' in light of the additional responsibilities shouldered by senior members.

The basic allowance was above the regional average of £6,182 but below the £8,677 average for unitary authorities, he said, and the leader's additional allowance was below both the £17,626 regional average and the £20,176 unitary authority average.

Members' allowances will be reviewed again in the autumn.

Reporter: emilyp@iwcpmail.co.uk

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by david wright

24th March 2014, at 11:40:34

Ben,
Your example is completely different.
Those providing services in a time of high demand can exploit the market it may not be right but is done by every sector and is called supply and demand. Every customer had a choice to pay the price asked or not.

Councilors are public servants and are in control of public money and how it is spent. Pre budget councilors were on this site saying the taxpayers had no idea how bad the situation was and that services and jobs were going to have to be cut savagely.

Some of these cuts to the most vulnerable have been publicized AND YET the money for a pay rise way and above inflation has been awarded to the senior councilors. This is in my opinion immoral and cannot be justified by any reasonable means as it amounts to taking food out of the hands of those that need it most. Shocking!

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by Ben Ridley

24th March 2014, at 09:37:06

I was a scaffolder when the storm of October 1987 hit, every builder, scaffold company , roofer were charging way above what was a reasonable price because the insurance companies were just near enough giving out blank cheques. In the end though everyone paid for it as the premiums went up, were these people right to do this, were their principles involved in them doing it?
All I'm saying is that everyone has abused a system in one way or another, unless your as pure as snow, I'm not saying it's right, I just believe we are all guilty of going against our principles.

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by david wright

24th March 2014, at 01:09:12

Ben,

You amaze me that you put the principle of wage increase above actual principles!

It is not just a rise in pay it is a significant pay rise far above inflation.

You defend the 'right' to a pay rise no matter what the circumstance and that it is okay to accept it no matter what.

So you have no comment that the pay rise could in part at least be being paid by taking money from the disabled which can no longer be afforded??

No comment??

If in your job your boss said 'Ben we are going to give you a wage rise but because you are getting more money we are going to sack Dave'

Still no comment?? Your pay rise is okay Dave doesnt matter?

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by Ben Ridley

23rd March 2014, at 16:17:02

David I'm not avoiding any point,

I'm sure the councillors were aware of the pay terms.
All I'm saying is if you ( or anyone ) would do their job with no increase in pay for however long we remain in austerity then I would vote for you, it's simple isn't it, I don't moan about what others are getting when I know fully that I would be accepting it to if offered, as long as it's all above board, if you wouldn't then that's your choice.

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by Alex Pick

23rd March 2014, at 13:08:20

it not good at all

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by david wright

23rd March 2014, at 11:14:12

Ben, Again you avoid the point.

All of the councillors who stood for election knew the pay terms when standing.

The council has no money and yet the same men cutting payments to the disabled are handing themselves a pay rise.

I knew you did not intend flattery by saying I should stand for election but it was my way of dismissing what with respect is a stupid attempt on your part to justify what the councilors have done.

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by Ben Ridley

23rd March 2014, at 10:53:14

Hi David

Do you know why they are paid these allowances, as I'm not sure?
Also in regards to you standing for election it was not meant to b flattering but meant that if you feel you can do it for cheaper than they can then I will vote for you, just like I will give someone my business if they can do a job at a lower price but still give the same service.

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by david wright

23rd March 2014, at 10:02:22

Ben, I do not understand your position on this.

Council leaders told the tax payers the council fiances were in critical condition and that the public would be shocked if they knew the cuts that needed to be made.
The same councilors then accept massive pay hike!

Any man of conscience in office who was slashing jobs,services and wages amongst council staff then accepting a pay rise is if not a fool ,not looking for re-election.

Your comments re me standing for election are whilst flattering not relevant. If you were in business you would understand all pay rises need to be affordable and the council themselves have said they are broke so this one is not!!

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by Ben Ridley

22nd March 2014, at 23:25:34

That should of read you "will work for less than the members of the council already do"

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by Ben Ridley

22nd March 2014, at 23:22:23

Hi David

I never said I was impressed
What I said was that irrelevant of the job , anyone is entitled to a pay rise, as long as it's all done above board.
I also said that if you put yourself up for election with a manifesto of you won't take a pay rise or work for less than the members of the council already do, then I hope to see a flyer with your name on if through my letter box , and you will get my vote.

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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