RA Councillors vote themselves a pay rise.
At last Tuesday's otherwise uneventful meeting of Epsom & Ewell Borough Council, the ruling group of RA councillors voted through an increase in their own allowances.
This was opposed by all Lib Dem and other opposition councillors present. However, despite a significant number of RA councillors signifying their disagreement by abstaining, the built-in RA majority ensured that it was approved.
Due to the economic situation, allowances had been frozen in recent years, along with the pay of council staff. This year there had been a modest increase in staff salaries and RA councillors argued that their allowances should also be increased to avoid problems in recruiting new councillors at the next election.
Lib Dem councillors argued that a 1% difference was unlikely to affect the willingness of candidates to stand for election. What was important was that some residents were struggling to pay their increased council tax. An example should be set by avoiding unnecessary spending.
A recorded vote was held, so the names of councillors voting for an increase in their own allowances will be recorded in the minutes.