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Mayor quits party in pay protest
11:00am Monday 2nd December 2013 in News
TIDWORTH’S Conservative mayor Cllr Chris Franklin MBE says he is quitting the party in protest at a significant rise in county councillors’ allowances.
Wiltshire Council members awarded themselves a pay rise earlier this month, with those eligible for special responsibility allowances likely to rake in thousand of pounds a year – just weeks after redundancies were announced.
In a letter to Devizes MP Claire Perry, Cllr Franklin said: “To grant themselves an increase in allowances is beyond what any reasonable person could expect.
“I feel this not only will bring trouble to their door, but looks bad on the Conservative Party too.
“Did any of those councillors who voted for the rise stop for one minute and think how the people who have lost their jobs as a result of cuts must now feel?
“I assure you that I for one will not let this matter rest and will take any opportunity to call them to account, and believe me there are many areas at which they fail.”
The rise, recommended by the council’s Independent Remuneration Panel, has seen the allowances of Cllr Jane Scott, head of the Conservative group, rise by 36.5 per cent a year, from £37,335, to £52,227.
Cabinet members’ pay has increased by at least 22 per cent, with allowance entitlements rising from £15,101 to £18,433 a year.
An online petition against the rises has already had hundreds of people sign up at wehavesolutions.co.uk.
MP Claire Perry said: “It’s worth noting that, unlike other unitary authorities, Jane Scott, leader of Wiltshire Council, now combines the roles of leader and chief executive, which really counts as two jobs.
“Nevertheless, I have registered my concerns over these increases with the council leaders.”
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