Councillors accused over pay rise U-turn
Councillors in Cornwall have defended their decision to change their minds over whether they should get a pay rise after being accused of "flip-flopping" over the issue.
A motion is set to go before Cornwall Council next week calling on councillors to rescind the decision made last year to increase members' allowances from £12,128 to £14,600 a year after the elections in May. It has been tabled by former council leader Alec Robertson and signed by 21 other members.
Of those, four – Independents Des Curnow and John Keeling, and Conservatives Tony Martin and Terry Wilkins – previously voted in favour of the rise and were accused this week by Liberal Democrat councillor Alex Folkes of being "flip-flops".
Writing on his blog he stated: "First they were for it, now they claim to be against it. The flip-flopping position of some Tory and Independent councillors on the allowances rise is quite incredible."
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He added that four of those who had signed the motion "actually voted for the allowance rise that they are now seeking to rescind".
Mr Keeling defended his position saying: "I am getting increasingly concerned about public service cuts and, in particular, the welfare reform.
"We are now asking people to pay contributions to council tax that they didn't have to pay before. The pressure on the council to provide services has become a real concern to me. I don't want to be embarrassed – if I am lucky to be re-elected – in accepting a 20% pay rise."