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Councillors reject allowance cut call

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Councillors at Bolsover DC have rejected independent advice to halve their basic allowance to match neighbouring authorities.

A full council meeting of Bolsover DC rejected the 47% cut to their £10,047 basic allowance proposed by an independent remuneration panel, voting instead to freeze remuneration for the next four years.

Deputy council leader Alan Tomlinson (Lab) said: “We value the work and contribution of our scrutiny members and felt that the proposed reduction in basic allowance penalised them and did not reflect the amount of work they undertake and their responsibilities, both at the council and in their own time.”

Councillors also rejected the independent panel’s suggested increase for special allowances and opted for a four-year freeze again. The panel had suggested a 31% increase for the leader and deputy and a 48% increase for executive members and the main opposition leader.

 

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Bolsover DC has set a disappointing precedent

    You reported on Bolsover DC’s decision to reject the recommendations of its remuneration panel to cut the basic allowance of £10,300 by 47%.

    As the only member to vote against this motion, I hope the local government community will understand the wider implications of such a decision.

    While it is certainly a case of grabbing the largest possible slice of a diminishing cake there are other, equally important, implications. Anyone who has been involved in job evaluation will know that implementing evidenced-based approaches to remuneration is not for the faint-hearted.

    Employers and unions have shared a commitment to the principles of equity and transparency. Local government has made great strides in the right direction. These hard-won gains are jeopardised when councillors, unable to convince a panel by reasoned argument, simply vote through whatever allowance they think they deserve.

    Not only does this damage the reputation of the sector, it weakens the prospects for those who experience discrimination in the workplace. These employees have to put their faith in the fairness of the systems we devise. Society will pay a high price if we abuse this trust.

    Duncan Kerr (Green), Bolsover DC

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