Independent Bexley Council Cllr Danny Hackett (Thamesmead East) proposed an amendment tonight (3 March) to halt pay rises for councillors of three per cent for the forthcoming year, though he failed to gain any support from either Labour or Tory councillors.
Hackett left Labour so as Bexley is Bonkers points out, any support from that angle was unlikely. The Tories though also decided not to agree to freeze allowances.
Things could change at a future council vote. The savings may be modest at £22,484 in terms of a budget many times greater (a £177.264 million general budget fund to be precise) but perhaps not a good look for a council which is one of very few that needed to go to government to seek emergency powers given the state of council finances, and when council tax is up 4.99 per cent.
UPDATE: Labour have contacted me and stated:
“The reason we did not second the other motion on this subject was because we had already identified an alternative for this expenditure in our own motion. We could not therefore spend the money twice.
There were two votes last night:
- The first was the Labour amendment which sought to give the councillor allowance increase to community libraries. Only Labour councillors voted for this and all other councillors voted against it.
- The second vote was the substantive vote which included the entire capital and revenue budget including the allowance increase. Only Labour councillors voted against this with all other councillors voting in favour.
Therefore Labour councillors voted to remove the % increase in allowances within the revenue budget on both votes and all other councillors voted to retain it within the revenue budget on both votes.
In addition, I have already written to council officers on behalf of Labour Councillors stating our position that this increase should not be implemented.”
There has been no contact from Conservative councillors