We voted against rise in allowances, say Labour councillors

Labour councillors in Lichfield and Burntwood have said they are not to blame for rises to allowances.

The ten-strong group say they supported the Independent Remuneration Panel’s recommendation to freeze councillor allowances at a council meeting last week.

But the proposed one pre cent rise was passed.

Cllr Steve Norman

Cllr Steve Norman

Cllr Steve Norman, Leader of the Labour Group, said: “My colleagues did not want to vote themselves the increase, however small, when further cuts in services – and further possible staff redundancies as a result – are still real possibilities this year.”

The meeting also saw concerns raised about an auditor’s claim that the council expects to borrow £2.5million in 2016/17.

Cllr Norman said it would mean the council would fail to be debt free for the first time since 1999, saying that the Labour administration in that year left £25.4million in the council’s coffers.

He said: “The Conservatives were hoping to increase Council Tax by much more than inflation over recent years to balance the books, but the Government has capped Council Tax and dramatically reduced government grants.

“But Lichfield District increased the Council Tax this year by the maximum allowed.”

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