Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Councillors ponder legal action on pensions

  • Comment

Council leaders are considering legal action over the removal of their right to local government pensions.

At a meeting of the LGA’s executive on Thursday, Mehboob Khan (Lab), left, leader of Kirklees MBC, said the LGA should approach the pensions ombudsman to see whether there were any relevant test cases.

“It could be that one of us in this room brings forward test cases about the unfair attack on our pensions – either about the effects on us individually or the sector as a whole”, he said.

However, Gary Porter (Con), leader of the LGA’s Conservative group, said any legal challenge should be a last resort.   

“I agree with the sentiment, but in terms of the line of attack we take on this area I’d suggest we don’t go to the ombudsman or the lawyers until there are no more options”, he said.

“I’m getting the strong sense that the government didn’t intend to start a row [with councillors]. We’ve got more chance of getting a better consultation document if we handle it the way we have been doing rather than [take] an aggressive approach.”

Also at the meeting, councillors criticised former local government minister Grant Shapps and current minister Brandon Lewis over a row last month about members’ pay.

The Conservative MPs said a select committee report calling for councillors to be compensated for loss of earnings was “a cynical and sleazy move”. Claiming the cross-party committee’s report had come from “Labour politicians” and pointing to Labour Party rules under which a share of its councillors’ allowances are transferred to the party’s own funds, Mr Shapps said Labour was trying to increase the party’s budget.

But at the LGA meeting, Sevenoaks DC leader Peter Fleming (Con) said: “It’s a shame that people down the road decided that to further their own message it was best to give us a kicking.”

LGA chair Merrick Cockell (Con) said: “I hope we may encourage parliamentarians to rise to a higher level of debate about the important matters, because I think we all agree that the alternative is unacceptable.”

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.