TWBC leader says he could quit as councillor pay increase row continues

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By kentsussex | Thursday, February 07, 2013, 16:07

Is the leader of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council throwing his toys out of the pram?

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.

      

Comments

       
  • Profile image for robertprance

    This should not be an issue about how much Borough Councillors are paid in allowances or about how much allowances should go up, if at all. That is a valid discussion which needs to take place from time to time. The issue now is about timing and an apparent total lack of sensitivity against a background of austerity and cuts in services, many of which have been and will probably continue to be, imposed on local residents by the same Borough Council. It is not a sensible message to be giving out and only serves to support the widely held belief that our political leaders are totally out of touch with the real world

    By robertprance at 18:39 on 08/02/13

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