Cornwall Council U-turn on big pay rise for councillors
In an astonishing U-turn, Cornwall councillors yesterday overturned an earlier decision to award themselves a controversial pay rise.
During a heated and often bad-tempered debate at Country Hall in Truro, councillors backed a motion by former council leader Alec Robertson, who was ousted from the top job last year.
He called on fellow councillors to reject the proposed increase in allowances and retain the current level of payment at £12,128 a year.
Last October at a full council meeting, councillors had voted to increase their yearly allowance to £14,600.
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Mr Robertson argued that in view of the current budgetary restraints on council purse strings the timing for the overall £300,000 increase could not be justified.
However, he came under intense fire from political opponents arguing in favour of the rise.
Councillor Rob Nolan told the chamber he had received an email from a family member of Mr Robertson's accusing him of being "greedy and corrupt" if he did not support the former council leader.
Mr Nolan said: "He [Mr Robertson] has earned £150,000 over the last three years, more than any other councillor on Cornwall Council, making him the most expensive lap-dog that Cornwall has ever seen.
"I think he should be ashamed."
Mr Robertson said he would not "dignify" Mr Nolan's comments with a response.
The vote in favour of rejecting the increase was 47, with 34 against and seven abstentions.