Send your news, photos and videos by texting bucksfreepress to 80360 or email
29% rise for Wycombe's top councillors branded 'terrible'
WYCOMBE'S top councillors have been accused of sending a terrible message to hard up taxpayers by increasing their allowances by 29 per cent.
Tory cabinet members at Wycombe District Council are now receiving £9,029 for special responsibility allowances.
Previously, under the leadership of Cllr Alex Collingwood the money had been cut to £7,000.
But WDC Leader Richard Scott, who took over in May, has reverted to the levels recommended by an independent remuneration panel.
Cllr Simon Parker, Leader of the Liberal Democrats at WDC, said: "I think it sends a terrible message out there to people who are really struggling.
"We should always be seen to be playing our part. "I'm self employed and I'm earning 2007 money and paying 2013 prices.
"You have to work longer to pay the same.
"Quite frankly public servants at the moment should be doing the same thing." He said it was the wrong thing to do when the cost of living is outstripping income.
Addressing Cllr Scott at a Monday night meeting Cllr Parker said: "Can he honestly claim he can look someone in the eye and say 'we're all in this together'?"
Cllr Scott said he understood Cllr Collingwood had a slightly larger cabinet so he reduced the figure but said it was not for him to answer for his predecessor. There are eight cabinet members now, compared to ten initially in the previous administration, although this went to down to nine.
Cllr Scott said: "We have reverted to those levels (of allowances) which are the nationally agreed levels and I think that's correct for a very hard working cabinet delivering some of the economies and savings I have just outlined."
He cited the continuation of the council tax freeze over the past few years as one important example.
Cllr Parker added: "I can absolutely accept that there are fewer cabinet members and they're working harder but you look at the economy generally how many aren't doing that."
Councillors are allocated an allowance every year. They can also claim travel and subsistence expenses for specific activities.
Comments are closed on this article.