Proposed pay increases suggested by the Independent Remuneration Panel for ECC have been rejected by Conservatives at County Hall.
The report will be debated by the Full Council meeting on Tuesday 13th October 2015 where the Conservatives will amend the report to ensure there is no additional burden on the Essex taxpayer.
The Leader. The Deputy Leader and Cabinet Members will not take any pay increase and having taken a pay cut of 3% at the start of this Council in 2013 and frozen for 4 years now propose to extend this to any proposed increase and thus their allowances remain unchanged. This represents almost a £20,000 savings to Members’ Allowances.
The so-called ‘free meals’ at County Hall will also be completely stopped under plans by the Conservatives. The report suggests that every day meal provision ends but kept for Full Council days. The Conservatives will now vote for all meals to be scrapped. This will bring a saving of £22,000 which in total means these changes will save the taxpayer over £40,000.
Leader of the Conservative Group, Cllr. David Finch, said: “It is wholly wrong for us as Councillors to accept any increases when all residents are hard pressed with their own household budgets. Being a Councillor, particularly a Cabinet Member, is a full time job with Members being in control of a multi-billion pound budget and the current allowances reflect that hard work but no more should be taken.”
Essex Conservatives are also rejecting the idea of an automatic increase in allowances in line with the Local Government pay awards which will save the Taxpayer a further £15k.
If approved the changes will come into effect by 1st January 2016.