Despite an amendment from Medway Labour & Co-operative Group which would have kept councillor pay in line with pay rises for council staff, Medway Conservative Group voted to increase their own salary by 14%.
Cllr Vince Maple, Medway Labour & Co-operative Group Leader said, ‘Medway Labour proposed that councillors’ allowances should continue to be linked to the council officers cost of living increases.
‘It cannot be right to be in a situation where year on year hard working council officers have had real term pay cuts for councillors to vote themselves a 14% pay increase.
‘I firmly believe that these decisions should be totally taken out of the hands of politicians.’
Cllr Teresa Murray, Medway Labour & Co-operative Group Deputy Leader said, ‘We do want to encourage people from diverse backgrounds to become councillors, and understand that they need a salary. However, this level of increase after a decade of austerity and a decade of wage freezes is obscene.’
‘This council has repeatedly failed local residents, whether on OFSTED, Medway Commercial Group or the Castle Concerts, yet they’re rewarding themselves for failure instead of taking responsibility.
‘The Tory Councillors have voted for a 14% pay increase when frankly if they were subject to performance related pay they would probably be receiving no increase whatsoever.’