The Conservative Group have rejected aims to significantly hike Councillor allowances at the City of York Council. This follows proposals published in a report being presented at the Full City of York Council meeting on Thursday recommending uplifts to various Councillor alowances which could see rises between an eye-watering 12.75% and 50%.
In a joint statement by Conservative Councillors, they said, “Such increases would show Councillors voting for it to be completely out of touch with residents who stand to foot the bill with thousands in extra Council tax if approved. Councillor allowances were never meant to be considered a job salary and we do it because we want to make a difference for our communities and the City, not to see what we can get out of the system personally. Current levels and the various add-on allowances aready recognise members with special responsibilites and are there to see Councillors are not out of pocket – not to profit at taxpayers expense.
Strensall ward Councillor Paul Doughty said, “I had been invited to meetings with other Group Leaders and the ‘Independent Remuneration Panel’ where allowances were discussed a couple of months ago and we were asked for our thoughts. I made it clear at the time that I could not support or see any reason for any allowance increases to exceed inflation or indeed salary increases for Council staff. It would be wholly unjust. I was suspicious that the Council meeting agenda published last week had several items marked as ‘to follow’ including this with the full details only being published after the general election. The cynical amongst us might wonder if there is a link between this delay in publication and the fact that the Council Leader for this LibDem-led coalition was a LibDem parliamentary candidate who fancied his chances in York Outer.”