Labour vote for own pay rise; while the Tories bottle it

Cllr David Hancock (Liberal Democrats) statement on North East Derbyshire District Council approving pay rise to members of the Council:

“The final item on an otherwise pretty routine NE-Derbyshire District Council meeting today was for the Council to approve an increase to the Members’ Allowance. That’s the money councillors get paid for being a councillor; in addition, certain councillors, who chair various committees, and cabinet members receive Special Responsibility Allowances to cover the increased time they spend undertaking those duties. the recommendation was a 1% increase to the Members’ Allowance and Special Responsibility Allowances.

You pay more and Councillors take more

Most of us like to be recognised in our pay packets at the end of the month. However, given that the Council has just had to raise Council Tax by 2.8% to all residents across North East Derbyshire for the coming year; I personally find it offensive that Councillors are even considering increasing our own pay when everyone in the District is having to pay more – many without having had an increase in wages for several years. Sadly, the rest of North East Derbyshire District Council didn’t agree with me. The cry from the Labour side of the chamber was: “Well you reject it then!”

When it came to the vote, as the only Lib Dem on the Council, I was the sole councillor to vote against the increase.

All of the attending Labour Councillors voted to accept it; and the Tories abstained. 

As a representative of the residents of North East Derbyshire, my conscience will not allow me to accept any increase while my neighbours are paying more for essential services; and I have personally rejected the increase to my allowance; as passed by the Labour Councillors.

As a Liberal Democrat, my responsibility is to the people I represent – not my own pocket.

I have therefore sent a request to Dan Swain, the Chief Executive of North East Derbyshire to reject the increase i was due to receive following the decision that was taken today.

An email has been sent to Cllr Brian Wright for comments on his position on such increases to memebrs of the Council, as he also directly benefits from this decision.”

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