Councillors are to be asked to give up an expected pay rise of around 7% and take a pay cut of 5% amid the financial crisis gripping Kirklees Council.
Salaries and allowances paid to the 69 councillors in Kirklees cost taxpayers more than £1.3 million.
And incoming council leader Cathy Scott, who has already taken a 10% cut in her £27,210 leader’s salary, wants to make £100,000 in savings.
Clr Scott (below) said it was important that councillors show they are putting the public’s interests above their own and show “we are on the side of hardworking families across Kirklees.”
Each councillor receives a basic allowance of £15,080 and there are additional payments on top for extra responsibilities.
The nine Cabinet members, for example, are paid £13,709 on top of their basic allowance and have already agreed a 5% cut to the Cabinet salary.
At the next full council meeting on Wednesday September 13 individual councillors will be asked to voluntarily give up their impending pay rise and also take a 5% cut.
Councillors’ allowances are due to rise by the same percentage as council employees, which is expected to be between 5% and 7%.
A report to full council says the current cost of councillors’ allowances is £1,368,789 a year and the expected pay increase would cost around £100,000.
Clr Scott, who is expected to be elected council leader at the same meeting, wants to convene an independent panel to look at councillors’ allowances for the next financial year, 2024-25.
Councillors will be asked to vote on whether they agree to accept voluntary pay cuts. The vote will be a “recorded vote” meaning the public will know which councillors have agreed a pay cut – and which haven’t. Those councillors not at the meeting will also be asked for their decision.
If agreed the pay cuts could be implemented immediately.
Two weeks ago Clr Scott announced a new nine-strong Cabinet team. However, at this week’s first Cabinet meeting it was revealed that Clr Gwen Lowe had stepped down due to family reasons.
Clr Lowe won’t be replaced and her Environment responsibilities will be shared by other Cabinet members, saving a salary of £13,709.