Published: July 18, 2013
'Disgraceful' 3% pay rise for Somerset County Councillors attacked

A Highbridge councillor has this week criticised Somerset county councillors for giving themselves a 3% pay rise.

The £371 increase to the basic annual allowance was voted through on Wednesday (July 17th) and was accepted by councillors.

The rise brings their basic allowance to £10,251 a year, before any extra money for chairing committees and other responsibilities is accounted for.

Highbridge district councillor Helen Groves told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "It's disgraceful that this has gone ahead when the average wage for people in Somerset is just £18,000 and at a time when salary increases for most people have been frozen for several years."

"The county council's own staff numbers have been cut to the bone - they can't expect more than a 1% pay rise this year - so it just isn't right that this is going ahead."

She added that Lib Dem county councillors had voted against the pay increase despite a recommendation from an independent panel stating the rise is due.

Earliet this year, Somerset County Council announced that with an overall settlement of £336m for 2013-14 compared to £360m for the previous year, savings of £24m would be needed to balance the books. County councillors also agreed to freeze council tax for a fourth year running and draw on £5.6m of reserves to help offset a £23m fall in revenue.



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