95% of readers say ‘no’ to councillor allowance rise in Mail poll

Hartlepool Civic Centre.
Hartlepool Civic Centre.

A huge proportion of readers expressed their dissatisfaction over a proposed rise in councillor’s allowances when they took part in a Mail poll.

Councillors in Hartlepool are being recommended to give themselves an almost 31% rise in their basic allowance, from £5,953 to £7,792 a year.

Hartlepool Borough Council leader Christopher Akers-Belcher.

Hartlepool Borough Council leader Christopher Akers-Belcher.

We asked readers if they think councillors should get the rise, and 95% said they ‘no’, with 5% voting ‘yes’.

The proposed increase of £1,839 – equivalent to 30.8% – is being recommended by the Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP).

It says the proposed increase is needed to bring Hartlepool Borough Council more in line with neighbouring authorities, and would encourage more people to stand as councillors.

Dozens of people commented on our Facebook page and website.

Jill Boagey said: “Disgusting.”

Zoe Kirby wrote: “I do believe councillors should get some form of expenses. After all, like it says in the article, most of them have to reduce their working hours in their jobs to be able to do their council duties.”

James Barker commented: “Right after an election! Hah !”

Hayley Hunter stated: “I hope they all will do a lot more !!! for the town if they do get this rise.”

Michael Longstaff said: “My job has an “independent” pay review body which receives a remit letter from the government which restrict any pay rise to a maximum of 1% and now includes increments as part of your pay rise!!”

Carol Docherty stated: “So angry!!!!”

Ken Lowes stated: “Councillors should have no control on there wages.”

Shel Winspear commented: “It isn’t suggested by councillors at all. It has been recommended by an independent panel. Councillors will discuss and vote on it on Thursday.”

Julie Bell said: “Sorry I think that this is shocking.”

David McDonald stated: “Disgusting.”

Martin Bainbridge said: “Disgraceful.”

Joyce Griffiths commented: “Should be a local vote to decide and I know what the result will be! NO NO NO!!! can’t believe they be voting on their own pay rise!!!”

Councillors will vote on the issue at Thursday night’s Full Council meeting.

The move has been blasted by the TaxPayers’ Alliance months after Hartlepool taxpayers were hit with a 4.9% increase in their bills, and public sector workers are subject to a 1% pay rise cap.