Bedford Borough Conservative Group Leader, Cllr Stephen Moon has renewed his call for councillors at the authority to take a pay cut. Following a report in the Bedfordshire on Sunday last week which showed councillors had received in excess of £1m in the past 3 years, Cllr Moon feels councillors’ allowances should not remain at the same level in the midst of job losses and significant cuts to services.
Cllr Moon, who is a representative of Great Barford Ward said;
‘As councillors we are in a position whereby we can request reductions or increases to our pay. I feel it is important for us to set an example and to make a contribution towards savings. If residents are seeing their services scaled back and Council staff are losing their jobs then why should we be exempt?
‘I am astonished that the Labour and Liberal Democrat Groups have voted for allowances to increase in line with Council officers’ pay. They need to remember the role of councillor is not a job and the allowances on offer should reflect that. Some of the allowances for positions such as Executive Members, Deputy Mayor and the Speaker are considerable yet these have not been reduced.
‘A minor reduction in total expenditure on allowances of 5 or 10 percent would still allow individuals of any background to become a councillor yet the overall saving could be used to maintain a particular service or save one or two front line jobs.’