Cornwall councillors 'should get 34% pay rise', says panel
Allowances for the 123 Cornwall councillors should be increased by 34% to £16,200 a year, an independent panel has recommended.
Fresh from ousting leader Alec Robertson this week, councillors will vote on the proposed bumper pay package at next week's meeting of the full council.
A detailed report showed the recommended increase would take the amount spent on basic allowances to a little under £2 million – an "unfunded budget pressure" of more than £500,000 which would require other savings to be made.
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The paper by the council's "independent remuneration panel" said the award, and a suggestion that members could carry out their duties in 25 hours a week, "will encourage younger people, with families and existing financial pressures, to stand for election to Cornwall Council."
It added: "the basic allowance recommended represents a fairly significant increase" but said it "properly reflects the nature of the commitment required and the full scope of member responsibilities".
Any increase in allowances is likely to be highly controversial with the council making multi-million cuts to services and shedding staff.
And Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, warned people would feel "badly let down" if councillors approved the deal.
He added: "The last thing hard-pressed Cornish families would deserve is for their elected representatives to prioritise their own allowances and expenses above the provision of front-line services."