We’re not doing this work to get rich, say councillors

Allowance is lifted by 1.7 per cent

Monday, 11th July — By Richard Osley

gio spinella

Cllr Gio Spinella

COUNCILLORS said they didn’t like the phrase “voting for a pay rise for themselves” … as they voted for a pay rise for themselves this week.

Members are due to see a 1.7 per cent increase in their annual allowance after voting for the increase at an all-member meeting on Monday night.

Camden has one of the lowest basic remuneration packages for councillors in the country after successive administrations were wary of putting the level up amid a climate of austerity cuts to services.

The rise means the basic rate for every councillor is £10,985 – although half of all members get extra payments for roles they have in the council structure. The majority also have income from private work.

While the Tories have voted against pay rises in the past, new leader Councillor Gio Spinella has said he would go further than the agreed rise.

He said: “One of the things I’ve always found a bit distasteful is that catchphrase ‘councillors vote themselves a pay rise’. It’s easily phrased, a good catchphrase and not 100 per cent untrue, but at the same time it always conveys an impression of being self-serving – as somehow we are in it for ourselves. I think I can speak for a high number, or almost anybody in this room – nobody here is in it for the money.”

Cllr Spinella added: “If it’s money you want, I promise you, I promise you a minimum wage at Starbucks or Subway will pay you more.”

Under the new rates, the council leader will get a total of £53.640, while cabinet members receive £37,645.

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