TWBC leader says he could quit as councillor pay increase row continues
By kentsussex | Thursday, February 07, 2013, 16:07
Is the leader of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council throwing his toys out of the pram?
Touchy... or out of touch: David Jukes says he will quit if people don't want him as his plans to increase councillor pay come a step closer
We ask the question after it was revealed that David Jukes said he would walk away from the job if people don't want him after controversial councillor pay increases moved a step closer.
At a meeting of the Cabinet this morning members voted for the pay hikes, which will see Mr Jukes receive a £2,500 increase from £16,750 to £19,250, reports thisiskent.
Other cabinet members will see a rise of 22 per cent from £8,990 to £11,000.
Mr Jukes launched an impassioned defence of the plans and said he was "never in it for the money" and added because he was leader and a portfolio holder he was working "60 hours a week".
"I am not in it for the money but I am fed up of the flack," he said. "If people want to do my job then by all means be my guest.
"It is the first time I have ever been party to setting my own pay and frankly I don't want to ever do it again.
"I don't want to do all this work, we can take on another portfolio holder. "I don't want the money but I want equality."
Mr Jukes said the pay increases would help attract younger councillors to aspire to get senior positions in the council.
Finance portfolio holder James Scholes said people should look at the big picture.
"From a financial point of view the most important thing is the cost is not more it is less," he said.
Because of cuts and streamlining services the amount the borough council will pay in remuneration will be less next year.
The final decision will be made at Full Council on February 20.