Banbury area district councillors approve pay freeze for themselves
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The district council’s independent remuneration panel recommended that councillor’s pay, known as an allowance, remains at the same level in its most recent report.
The full council signed off on the pay freeze when it met to discuss the budget on Monday night (February 22.)
According to a survey carried out by the remuneration panel, which is made up of six members of the public, there was ‘not the will’ among councillors to give themselves a pay rise at the moment.
The panel’s report said: “The increasing complexity, responsibilities and burden of local government made it imperative for individuals representing all of society to be able to stand for election as councillors.
“Allowances are not the only means of overcoming obstacles to wider democratic representation, but the absence of a national baseline for member remuneration did not help efforts to attract a diverse range of people in the local community to consider becoming councillors.”
However, with staff on the council facing a pay freeze alongside other public sector workers, councillors thought increasing their pay would not be the right thing to do.
The report added: “Whilst levels of remuneration need to reflect the time, effort and expertise required of councillors, it was evident that it was not the will of councillors to increase remuneration at this time.”
The basic allowance for a Cherwell district councillor is reportedly relatively low compared with other councils according to the panel.
The allowance for most councillors is £4,512 a year, with senior councillors receiving more.
The council leader Barry Wood is paid £7,680, and his team of executive members are paid £6,708 each.