Bedfordshire councillors vote to freeze pay increases

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Bedford Borough Council has unanimously agree to stop voting for councillor pay increases.

Bedford Borough Council’s Conservative Group welcomed the decision of Liberal Democrat and Labour councillors to stop the votes while making staff redundant and cutting services.

Over the last five years the Conservatives say the mayor’s administration has rejected their proposals to freeze or reduce allowances whilst at the same time complaining about reductions in the council’s resources.

Councillor Stephen Moon, Conservative Group Leader, was pleased to see what he called the ‘sinner’s repent’ at the council’s meeting on January 11.

He said: “The Conservative Group has voted consistently against pay increases.

“It is a basic point of principle that you do not vote to improve your own position when that costs others their jobs.

“The budgeted cost of councillors’ allowances has risen by £57k since 2011 and the total spent has increased by £180k.

“When all other areas of expenditure are being cut, that is a disgrace.

“It has been astonishing to hear councillors complain about funding reductions and yet still vote for their pay packets to be topped up year on year.

“We are pleased that the hypocrisy shown by the administration is now at an end with all parties agreeing a pay freeze for councillors in 2017/18.”

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