My salary as an MP is about £65,000. Its always seemed to me to be a very good salary for a job which involves a strong element of public service. Though I'll always take what's offered, I'd have done the job for nothing. Done it differently of course, and of necessity only part-time - and not have been able to afford all those things that are 'expected' of an MP. When I was first elected to Montgomeryshire District Council, I elected not to take any payment at all for my time until I became Vice Chairman, which involved four days most weeks. I then took £16.50 per day. This is by way of a preamble to commenting on what its proposed that Powys County Council's new cabinet members are to be paid from next month.
At present the Council is 'led' by an Executive Management Board of 15 Cllrs. who are each paid £21,700 - with the Leader being paid £28,217. From next month the Council will be 'led' by a Cabinet of 10 (I think) who will each be paid £25,600 - with the Leader being paid £36,017. It is also proposed that there will be special responsibility payments for other individual duties. The increases are being recommended by an Independent Remuneration Panel. The report going to the full Council for approval goes under the authorship of Councillors Tony Thomas and Stephen Hayes.The Conservative Group does not agree with these increases, and its Group Leader will refuse to take the new responsibility allowance.
This seems to me to be quite a strong story. In fact one journalist I spoke to described the increases as f***** outrageous - and she was a lady!!. Personally, I thought the public should know about this, so that they can inform Councillors of their opinion before they vote on these proposals on April 28th. When asked to comment by the BBC and Shropshire Star today, I just said that I thought such increases at this time of pay freezes and cuts are insensitive - and that I thought the public should know before the decision is taken. Some issues do not need hyping up.