Say No to Councillor Pay Increase and Save School Crossing Patrols
The Newcastle upon Tyne Community First Party is calling on Newcastle’s city councillors to vote against a proposal to give the Leader of Council a 42% increase in pay at its February meeting.
The salary increase for the Leader is part of package of proposals that has the potential to add £90,772 to the pay bill for the city’s 78 councillors, including increases in the special responsibility allowances of 60% for the Deputy Leader, 45% for Cabinet Members and a whopping 117% for the chair of the planning committee.
Newcastle City Council has already been criticised for retaining 78 councillors while Nottingham Council which serves a larger population has just 55 councillors and Sheffield Council which has a population almost twice the size of Newcastle with 6 more councillors than Newcastle.
Leader of Newcastle First Jason Smith said: “The salary proposed for the Leader of Newcastle City Council is greater than the £30,000 per year paid to the Leader of Sheffield Council, a city with almost twice the population of Newcastle. If this increase is approved at full council, Newcastle City Council’s leader will be the second best paid Leader of Council in the core cities relative to the population served.
“The work of individual councillors is driven by the population size of their ward. Councillors in Newcastle are responsible for less people in their wards than any of the other core cities and, relative to their size, Newcastle councillors are already better paid than all but two of the core cities. At a time when the city is facing savage cuts, there is no argument in favour of increasing councillor pay.
“It is outrageous that councillors are increasing the pay of the chief executive and senior staff and upgrading their own offices in the civic centre, while council workers are receiving tiny pay increases.
“I am demanding that councillors show leadership at a time of austerity by voting against this proposed increase.”
The proposal to increase the pay bill for councillors by £90,772 comes as the council is consulting on the loss of all but two of the city’s school crossing patrols to save £212,000.
Jason added: “Why would the council cabinet cut school crossing patrols and then find almost half the money to give themselves and other councillors a massive pay rise?
“I am told that the Leader’s and Cabinet Offices have a combined budget of just under £178,000. Reviewing Labour’s political infrastructure, funded by the tax payer, and the proposed pay rise for councillors would more than pay for the school crossing patrols in 2017/18.”
“Lolipop men and women do a fantastic job and voting for to increase their own pay while cutting school crossing patrols would be nothing short of a disgrace.”