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Conservative gravy train mustn’t cost Surrey’s Council Taxpayers more

October 15, 2013 4:24 PM
Originally published by Surrey County Council Lib Dems

Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council are opposing moves to pay four Conservative councillors an extra £5,000 a year. Speaking in the debate today, Hazel Watson, the Leader of the Liberal Democrat opposition said:

"The Conservative administration has recently created four Cabinet Associate posts without proper justification and I regard them as totally unnecessary.

"The responsibilities of Cabinet members have not increased and so it begs the question why certain Cabinet members need an assistant to help them with their work. If Cabinet members are unable to cope with the work load they should be replaced with people who can.

"The decision to create Cabinet Associates with additional money in the form of Special Responsibility Allowances smacks of the administration giving jobs to the boys and girls. It comes across as a gravy train paid for by Surrey Council Taxpayers. The administration has already given Special Responsibility Allowances to 32 out of 58 Conservative councillors. It is getting to the point that Special Responsibility Allowances are not "special", they are the norm. We need to remember that Surrey Council Taxpayers are footing the bill for the excessive number of allowances for councillors.

"The assumption seems to be that the Cabinet Associates will be paid at least £5,000 each in addition to the £185,000 total amount which is being paid to the Cabinet in Special Responsibility Allowances on top of their basic allowance of £11,791 per person. This cannot continue as it is ridiculously excessive.

"I would prefer the Cabinet Associate posts to be abolished. However, if this is not possible, I request this Council to ensure that the total amount being paid in Special Responsibility Allowances to the Cabinet and Cabinet Associates does not increase as a result of the additional posts. If the Cabinet Associates are to be paid £5,000 each for their work this should be deducted from the relevant Cabinet member's allowance so that the burden on Surrey Council Taxpayers does not increase."